Game Week 1 has already been and gone in the new 2020 NFL season and already the focus is building towards the next Super Bowl in February. The nature of the NFL’s draft system means that the least successful franchises get their chance to snap up the best college talent each year, which helps to maintain a unique cycle of winning franchises. Regardless of which team wins Super Bowl LV in Tampa next year, some NFL franchises will always be considered giants of the gridiron. Read on as we reveal the five NFL franchises that have cemented themselves as the behemoths of North American sport.
Did you know, the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable sports franchise on the planet? According to the Forbes rich list, the Cowboys are worth an estimated $5.5 billion, some $500 million more than the second most valuable sporting franchise – Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees. The Cowboys’ value soared by 10% in the 2019/20 season too, according to Forbes. The Cowboys have been serial performers in the NFL postseason and during the mid-1990s they experienced a rich vein of form, bagging three Super Bowls in four seasons between 1992-1995. Despite several playoff appearances in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2016, and 2018, the Cowboys have been unable to get their hands on the Lombardi Trophy in the last 25 years.
Kansas City Chiefs
On the field at least, the Kansas City Chiefs are considered the most dominant force in NFL at present. After winning the Super Bowl LIV against the 49ers – their first in 50 years – the Chiefs splashed out a record-breaking contract extension for MVP quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. The deal made Mahomes the first half-billion-dollar athlete, as he bids to build a dynasty under head coach Andy Reid. Mahomes lost no weight during the offseason, as he sought to use the best weight benches to maintain his power for the start of 2020/21. The leading US sportsbooks believe back-to-back Super Bowl titles are a realistic prospect for Mahomes and Kansas City. The latest futures NFL betting markets suggest the Chiefs are +600 favorites, followed closely by the Baltimore Ravens (+650) – more on the Ravens shortly.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are up there as one of the most iconic NFL franchises of all time. They register 12th on the Forbes rich list, with an estimated value of $3.5 billion – a value which soared by 15% last season thanks to their run to the Super Bowl LIV. Like the Dallas Cowboys, much of their past Super Bowl success occurred in the 1980s and 1990s. This means that the 49ers are still revered as an iconic brand in the eyes of millennial football fans. Their brand-new Levi’s Stadium has also provided a stunning base for the 49ers in the 21st century.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are some way higher than the 49ers in the Forbes rich list – seventh to be precise. The Pats are said to be worth $4.1 billion, more than Spanish soccer giants Barcelona. Much of that is due to New England’s recent “dynasty” led by iconic quarterback Tom Brady. With Brady leading the charge for 20 seasons, the Patriots became the dominant force in the modern-day era of the NFL. With six Super Bowl titles to their name between 2001-2018, the Pats have also been heavily indebted to head coach Bill Belichick, who is considered one of the finest tactical masterminds in the history of the sport.
The Baltimore Ravens may not necessarily be one of the first NFL franchises that spring to mind when you think about the biggest teams on a commercial level, but the stars are aligning for the Ravens to become a major hit on the field. At a commercial value of $2.75 billion according to the Forbes rich list, the Ravens are still worth more commercially than the fast-emerging cash-rich English soccer giants Manchester City. The Ravens also have a roster with huge potential to win their first Super Bowl since 2012, with quarterback Lamar Jackson experiencing rapid development. A potential AFC Championship game with the Kansas City Chiefs in the postseason is a truly mouth-watering prospect.
It would also be remiss not to mention the likes of four-time Super Bowl winners, the New York Giants as well as the Los Angeles Rams, who are the only franchise to win NFL championships representing three different cities in Cleveland, LA, and St. Louis.