Being the poorest owner in the NFL is kind of like being the hungriest person at the buffet. They might have less, but compared to everyone else they are doing alright. The NFL is home to several deep-pocketed owners, but some might not be as rich as you would think. The modern NFL not only partially requires owners to pay their players, but to help build stadiums and put the money elsewhere.
Still, some avoid spending as much as the Jerry Joneses and Robert Krafts of the world, yet still manage to put out an NFL team on a week-to-week basis. A lot is made about the richest owners in sports, but what about those with a little bit less money in their pockets?
Just missed the cut
Several owners just missed the cut for the poorest owners. The Adams family of the Tennessee Titans and the McCaskey family of the Chicago Bears are worth a measly $1.3 billion. Meanwhile, Art Rooney II and his family have been able to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to six Super Bowls despite only being worth $1.2 billion.
The Bowlen family of the Denver Broncos is worth $1B, but the team they own is reportedly worth $2.6 billion if they ever need a little bit more cash in their pockets. This leaves only two more owners.
First up, is Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals. One of two owners in the NFL who are not billionaires, Brown has to get by on only $925 million in value. That’s almost double what the poorest owner makes, and that owner is probably not a surprise to anyone who knows the NFL.
Mark Davis is the poorest NFL owner
Mark Davis inherited the Oakland Raiders from his dad, and it is him who helped usher in the team’s forthcoming move to Los Angeles. Although the team has recently opened up its pocketbooks for rehashed head coach Jon Gruden to the tune of $100 million, this does not mean that Davis isn’t skimping costs whenever necessary.
His father, Al, got control of the team thanks to shady tactics that involved pushing out the former owner, Wayne Valley, when he was out of the country. Since then, the team has sparred with the NFL several times, although Mark might not due so with the gusto that his father did back in his prime as an NFL owner. Regardless, the Raiders are likely to become a moneymaker in the future.
While the city of Oakland did not want to give too much money to a new arena, Las Vegas was happy to take on the stadium with hopes that it would draw more money into the economy than it cost.
Much like his father, Mark Davis has never met a money-shaving deal that he did not like. Davis is hoping that being the biggest professional team in a growing Las Vegas sports population may be able to raise him out of the depths of being the poorest owner and move to the next tier.
Sitting on the Raiders as an asset, the Raiders are worth $970 million. With the price of sports clubs going up while other things go down, and the potential for gained value in Las Vegas when the team moves, Davis likely won’t find himself in the poorhouse any time soon.
The poorest rich guy
To put Davis’s money into perspective, his half-million-dollar net worth is $18.4 billion less than Paul Allen’s estate, led by the deceased Seattle Seahawks’ owner’s sister. It’s $7 billion less than the owners of the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams. New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft is worth over ten times as much, as is Jones with the Cowboys.
Mark Davis, like his dad, has always been viewed differently than the high-rollers in the NFL. He plays by his own rules, and while outrageously wealthy, he doesn’t have the wealth to fall back on that many others do without their teams to work with. Because of this, he has the distinction as the poorest owner in the NFL.