An Unsuccessful Bid for the Dolphins Could Raise NFL Franchise Prices Even More

NFL teams could get even more expensive very soon

Miami Dolphins helmet
Still feeling nostalgic for the days when the Dolphins' logo was a dolphin wearing a helmet.
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you’re looking to buy an NFL franchise, it helps to have money. Absurd quantities of money, even. “Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pool full of gold coins” levels of money. When the Washington Commanders sold last year, the price for the team was in excess of $6 billion. A 2023 Forbes study named the Dallas Cowboys as the NFL’s most valuable franchise, with an estimated worth of $9 billion; on the other side of the scale were the Cincinnati Bengals, valued at a mere $3.5 billion.

It might be time to revisit some of those numbers and take them even higher, though — and it’s for a reason other than the price tag of the Commanders sale. In fact, the next big effect on the cost of an NFL team might not have to do with a successful bid for one at all. Writing at Puck, Josh Ourand has details of an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to buy the Miami Dolphins — and how that might still transform the market for the next NFL team to go on the market.

As Ourand explains, Ken Griffin — who’s been making both investments and donations in the Miami area recently — attempted to buy a stake in the Dolphins from majority owner Stephen Ross. The deal didn’t end up materializing, but there’s one fairly tantalizing piece of information shared in Puck’s report: namely, that it valued the Dolphins at $7.5 million. That’s up quite a bit from the aforementioned Forbes valuation, which had the Dolphins valued at $5.7 billion.

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Ourand goes on to argue that this unsuccessful deal could still result in future NFL teams selling for even more money. With the league exploring changes to its ownership rules, this could set the tone for some big-ticket transactions in the coming years.

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