The National Football League has no problem printing money and moving the meter, and the owners put up tons of dough just to make all 32 teams run.
Some NFL franchise overseers are more well off than others — some are billionaires many multiple times over. It is indeed elite company to be among the league’s 10 richest.
Let’s take a look at the individual owners in pro football with the highest net worth and their means of wealth, courtesy of Forbes‘ annual billionaire list released in March, and the outlook for their teams moving forward.
1. Paul Allen, Seattle Seahawks /Net worth: $21.7 billion
By far the wealthiest man in football (h/t Forbes), the Microsoft co-founder keeps his net worth up with strong investments. In addition to owning the Seahawks, Allen owns a stake in the Seattle Sounders soccer team and oh, by the way, owns the Portland Trail Blazers.
Seattle has enjoyed immense success in recent years on the gridiron. After winning Super Bowl XLVIII 43–8 against Denver, the Seahawks returned to the grand finale the following year, only to come up essentially one yard short in a loss to New England.
Allen’s efforts as an owner have helped Seattle create one of the biggest home advantages in the NFL at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks brand should remain strong in the midst of a rebuilding effort thanks to fan loyalty and the dynamic play of quarterback Russell Wilson.
2. David Tepper, Carolina Panthers / Net worth: $11 billion
A former minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tepper takes over the Panthers from longtime chief Jerry Richardson with at least some NFL ownership experience.
Tepper knows what a winning organization looks like from his days in Pittsburgh, which fields one of the most stable, accomplished franchises in the league. That bodes well for Carolina in 2018 and beyond.
Per Forbes, Tepper is the leader of the Appaloosa Management hedge fund firm and can afford to bolster the Panthers brand by any means necessary aside from going north of the salary cap. It’ll only help to have buzz-worthy franchise quarterback Cam Newton in the midst of his prime.
3. Stan Kroenke, Los Angeles Rams / Net worth: $8.3 billion
Perhaps the most ubiquitous mogul in all of major sports (h/t Forbes), Kroenke has his influence within almost every big league. His holding company owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the MLS’ Colorado Rapids and Kroenke is the majority shareholder of the English Premier League club Arsenal.
Kroenke made a massive fortune in real estate and is also married to Wal-Mart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke.
The Rams’ 2016 move back to Los Angeles barely preceded the hiring of head coach Sean McVay, who lifted the team to an NFC West division crown in his maiden season. With several additions to the roster, L.A. has the look of a Super Bowl contender in 2018.
4. Stephen Ross, Miami Dolphins / Net worth: $7.6 billion
The 78-year-old is a real estate kingpin whose $25 billion Hudson Yards real estate development will fully open in 2024. Per Forbes, he’s developed $30 billion of properties across the globe.
Ross has earned the right to be in charge of the only NFL franchise to register a perfect season. Apparently he wants to assert his own will to help achieve similar success, considering Ross reportedly implored the team to trade down in the 2018 draft.
The Dolphins are a ways off from the glory days of their magical 1972 campaign and haven’t had a franchise quarterback since Dan Marino this millennium. If Ryan Tannehill can play at a high level under center, perhaps Miami can dream of catching the dominant Patriots in the AFC East.
5. Shad Khan, Jacksonville Jaguars /Net worth: $7.2 billion
Khan was an engineer whose conception of a one-piece truck bumper led to tremendous wealth, per Forbes. In addition to owning the Jaguars, Khan owns Fulham FC, showing his evident interest in both types of football.
After an impressive run to the AFC Championship Game this past season, the Jaguars look like they’re on the cusp of greatness. They experienced a sudden turnaround after years of struggling once Khan took over the team in 2012.
Khan has stuck with general manager Dave Caldwell, who’s rewarded that faith by assembling an elite defense. Now it’s up to Blake Bortles or another quarterback to help Jacksonville take the next step toward a Lombardi Trophy.
6. Robert Kraft, New England Patriots / Net worth: $6.2 billion
In only 15 years as owner, Kraft’s Patriots have won five Super Bowls. That’s about as much greatness as one could ever hope to achieve as the owner of a sports team, never mind in the parity-riddled NFL.
Per Forbes, the Patriots are now worth $3.7 billion after Kraft bought the team for $172 million in 1994. Talk about a ridiculous return on investment, not to mention the glory that’s gone with it.
Even if the power struggle between quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick hurts the franchise, Kraft still has a stake in the UFC and his Kraft Group owns the MLS’ New England Revolution, so he has other areas to grow his sports influence.
7. Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys / Net worth: $5.6 billion
One of the more hands-on owners sports has ever seen, Jones serves as the president and general manager for America’s Team. He has a football background as Forbes noted, serving a captain of the 1964 Arkansas national championship team.
The Cowboys’ home AT&T Stadium is sometimes referenced as “JerryWorld” and was constructed for a whopping $1.3 billion. Jones’ initial investment of $150 million to buy the Cowboys was profitable to say the least, as the team is now worth $4.2 billion.
Although Dallas has won three Super Bowls during Jones’ tenure, it’s been a while since the franchise has truly been among the NFL’s elite on the field. With only three playoff wins since that last championship following the 1995 season, Jones’ Cowboys haven’t lived up to the hype generated by their immensely popular brand.
T8. Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons / Net worth: $4.3 billion
When you co-found The Home Depot (h/t Forbes), you’re probably going to do well. That’s what Blank did, and he’s parlayed that trove of money into owning the Falcons.
After buying the team in 2002 for $545 million, Blank has seen the franchise value grow to $2.1 billion today. He also owns the MLS’ Atlanta United FC, which he helped bring to life.
Although Atlanta has yet to claim a Super Bowl under Blank’s watch, there’s no denying the Falcons have experienced great success. They will look to return to the playoffs for a third straight time in 2018.
T8. Terrence Pegula, Buffalo Bills / Net worth: $4.3 billion
As Forbes notes, Pegula made a ton of money in fracking, and purchased the Bills for $1.4 billion in 2014, outbidding the likes of current U.S. president Donald Trump.
Having already owned the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL, fans wanted Pegula to take over the Bills, and thus far the results have been promising. The team returned to the playoffs for the first time since after the 1999 campaign this past season.
Although the AFC East is still extremely competitive, Buffalo has to be pleased with its leadership situation atop the organization. Having a passionate sports advocate in Pegula at the helm should only help the Bills continue to raise their standards.
10. Steve Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens / Net worth: $4.2 billion
The business Bisciotti co-founded, private staffing firm Allegis Group, brings in a whopping $11 billion in annual revenue, according to Forbes. That means he won’t be hurting no matter what goes on with the Ravens.
In his first year with the franchise, Bisciotti had a minority stake in a team that fielded a legendary defense, which helped Baltimore to a Super Bowl XXXV victory. A lack of excitement and playmaking ability has afflicted the Ravens in recent years, though his tenure as full owner did produce a Super Bowl XLVII triumph.
However, Baltimore is in for an exciting transition period. Outgoing general manager Ozzie Newsome used his final first-round pick on quarterback Lamar Jackson, who’s likely to be an electric successor to Joe Flacco at the most important position.