Rich team vs. poor team

CLARK COLEMAN ranks the Indianapolis Colts as only the 29th most valuable team in the NFL — out of 32 teams — but they have a strong chance of going deep into the playoffs.A. J. Mast / AP
/ Source: Forbes

What does it take for a team to make it to the NFL playoffs? Talented players and a brilliant coach are a given, but deep pockets aren't necessarily part of the recipe.

Only three of the 10 richest teams made it to the playoffs — the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos. The Washington Redskins, who — at $1.104 billion — are the highest-valued team in the NFL, ended their season with a 6-10 record.

Our valuations of each team are based on their current stadium deal (unless a new stadium is pending) without deductions for debt (other than stadium debt). The eight most valuable teams either own or control their stadiums and are, therefore, able to rake in millions of dollars in corporate sponsorships and advertising from the likes of American Express, FedEx, Gillette and PepsiCo. The nine teams with the lowest valuations play in antiquated stadiums that are controlled by municipalities.