BBAO: Lions payroll vs. franchise value

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Forbes Magazine recently used its 2012 valuations of NFL teams to rank them among the world's 50 most valuable sports franchises. All four NFC North teams made the cut, and it's worth noting our lowest-valued team relative to Monday's post on player payroll.

The Chicago Bears ($1.161 billion) ranked No. 16, the Green Bay Packers ($1.119 billion) were No. 18, the Minnesota Vikings ($975 million) were No. 35 and the Detroit Lions ($855 million) were No. 43. The Lions, according to the magazine, carry substantial debt load because of their contribution toward constructing Ford Field.

As we discussed Monday, the Lions have the NFL's highest payroll -- the sum of cash they will pay their players in 2013 -- at the moment. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson will receive $56 million alone. We all know that salary-cap rules played a part in ballooning those contract values, but in the end, one of the NFL's lowest-valued teams is paying out the most cash to its players this season. There's a note in there somewhere.

Continuing around the NFC North: