Forbes Ranks Ravens as 27th-Most Valuable Franchise in Sports
The latest rankings are in, and NFL franchises continue to dominate the sports landscape in overall value.
Forbes put together its annual list of the most valuable organizations in professional sports, and the Ravens came in at No. 27 overall. The organization was valued at an estimated $2.3 billion, which is a 19 percent increase from last year.
The NFL had 29 teams ranked in the top 50.
"No sports league is as profitable as the NFL where the average team earned an operating profit (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $91 million and no one banked less than $26 million," wrote Kurt Badenhausen. "NFL owners are also in line for a windfall from the relocations of the Rams, Chargers and Raiders."
Baltimore came in as the 14th-highest ranked NFL team, and Owner Steve Bisciotti's investment continues to grow. Forbes valued the Ravens at $965 million in 2007, so the franchise has more than doubled in value over the last decade.
It comes as little surprise that the Dallas Cowboys topped the entire list. The Cowboys were valued at $4.2 billion. The list is based on Forbes valuations done over the past year for teams in the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, Formula 1 racing, soccer and NASCAR.
Here's the rundown of the top 27 teams on the list:
- Dallas Cowboys, $4.2 billion
- New York Yankees, $3.7 billion
- Manchester United, $3.69 billion
- Barcelona, $3.64 billion
- Real Madrid, $3.58 billion
- New England Patriots, $3.4 billion
- New York Knicks, $3.3 billion
- New York Giants, $3.1 billion
- San Francisco 49ers, $3 billion
- Los Angeles Lakers, $3 billion
- Washington Redskins, $2.95 billion
- Los Angeles Rams, $2.9 billion
- New York Jets, $2.75 billion
- Los Angeles Dodgers, $2.75 billion
- Bayern Munich, $2.71 billion
- Chicago Bears, $2.7 billion
- Boston Red Sox, $2.7 billion
- Chicago Cubs, $2.68 billion
- San Francisco Giants, $2.65 billion
- Houston Texans, $2.6 billion
- Golden State Warriors, $2.6 billion
- Philadelphia Eagles, $2.5 billion
- Chicago Bulls, $2.5 billion
- Denver Broncos, $2.4 billion
- Miami Dolphins, $2.38 billion
- Green Bay Packers, $2.35 billion
- Baltimore Ravens, $2.3 billion
How Will Ravens Use New Toys on Offense?
When the Ravens return for training camp later this month, a big storyline will be how some of the new pieces look on offense. Baltimore signed running back Danny Woodhead and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin with the hope that they bring a playmaking element to the offense, and Baltimore Beatdown's Matthew Cohen is eager to see Woodhead in action.
"Last year, Ravens Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg utilized running backs on check downs often," Cohen wrote. "Woodhead is one of the best receiving backs in the NFL, and has made a name for himself catching check down passes. His style of play fits the Ravens offensive system well, and gives Flacco another option in the passing game."
Maclin's arrival has calmed some nerves after Steve Smith's retirement and Dennis Pitta's hip injury. The veteran receiver can move the chains over the middle, but he still has speed to go over the top for a big play.
With speedsters Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman also on the roster, the Ravens will use training camp to figure out the best approach to get all three of them involved.
"Reports have indicated that Maclin will be used in the slot, while Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman will line up on the outside," Cohen wrote. "It will be intriguing to watch how this trio fits together on the field. It is clear, however, that Flacco has three playmaking receivers to throw to. Now it's time to see how he will use them."
Ravens Defensive Line Ranking Is 'Ludicrous'
USA Today recently assembled a list ranking every NFL team's defensive line, and Baltimore's spot was definitely a head scratcher. USA Today's Nate Davis put the Ravens at No. 28 because the Ravens "will be looking for unproven players to emerge alongside [Brandon Williams]."
The article caught the attention of Russell Street Report's Ryan Jones, who explained why the Ravens should be much, much higher on the list.
"Williams' presence alone should get the Ravens ranked higher than the 4th-worst defensive line in the league," Jones wrote. "The Ravens don't let home grown talent they value walk and there's a reason that they invested $52 million dollars in him with almost $34 million guaranteed. You can debate if it's wise to invest that much in a player who never touches the ball, but you can't debate that Williams is a top five player at his position – if not the best.
"Michael Pierce is not an unknown player. He might be that outside of Baltimore, but so was Williams the first three years he was in the league. Good defensive linemen don't get a ton of recognition, but if the undrafted Pierce builds off of his stellar rookie campaign he could follow in the footsteps of Williams and be a household name and be signing his own lucrative deal in the next few years."
In addition to Williams and Pierce as the anchors in the middle, the Ravens also have talented young players like Bronson Kaufusi, Carl Davis, Chris Wormley, Brent Urban and Willie Henry. Each of those players were drafted in the third or fourth rounds in recent years, and the Ravens have high hopes for them this year.
"The Ravens have a history of coaching up defensive linemen and they are currently stockpiled with young talent and a dominant player in his prime," Jones wrote. "You could easily make an argument they should be rounding out the top ten of these rankings. 28th is ludicrous."