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Forbes: Average value of NFL franchises up 14% despite revenue drop, topped by Dallas Cowboys

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Despite a 20% revenue drop in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the average value of the 32 NFL franchises is up 14% to $3.48 billion, according to Forbes.

It is the biggest gain in five years, according to the magazine.

For the 15th straight year, the Dallas Cowboys are valued as the most expensive franchise, reaching $6.5 billion, an $800 million increase over their value in 2020.

The New England Patriots are No. 2 at $5 billion. The New York Giants ($4.85 billion), Los Angeles Rams ($4.8 billion) and Washington Football Team ($4.2 billion) round out the top five. The NFC East has all four of its teams inside the top 10 with the Philadelphia Eagles checking in at No. 9 at $3.8 billion.

The biggest reason for the increase is the media rights deal the NFL signed with its broadcast partners in March that is worth $112.6 billion. According to Forbes, that was an 82% average annual increase and the payouts will increase from $220 million in 2021 to $377 million in 2032.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the biggest one-year increase in value at 29%, according to Forbes. Thank the arrival of Tom Brady and a Super Bowl win for pumping the value of the franchise to $2.94 billion, which is 21st among NFL teams. In 2020, the Bucs ranked No. 29 at $2.28 billion.

Brady used the news that franchise values increased to point out Thursday on Instagram that the NFL's salary cap decreased when the new league year began on March 17 and that the league announced its new media deals the next day.

"The salary cap was dropped by 20% ...and the new media deals were announced the day AFTER 2021 salary cap was set..." he wrote on his Instagram Story. "NFL players better wake up @nflpa . NFL players are IGNORANT."

The NFL salary cap, which was set at $182.5 million per team for 2021, actually marked an 8% decrease from the previous season, however. Also, the money from the NFL's media deals have no effect on the 2021 salary cap and would affect only revenues in future seasons.

The Buffalo Bills have the lowest value at $2.27 billion.