Unlike baseball the NFL splits TV revenues, so this tends to keep the teams more even in terms of revenue. Last week I looked at the different amounts of cap space each team had; and found a number that didn't even come close to hitting the cap. A few were bumping right up against the limit. Now lets take a look at the actual revenue (total money taken in) and net income (total revenues less expenses) of the teams. This gives some insight into who has money to spend and which teams are already at their fiscal limits. Here are the gross revenues of all the teams:
Even with revenue sharing, the Washington Redskins are taking in 50% more than the teams in the smaller and even medium markets. The sale of luxury boxes in the nations capital or cities that have corporate headquarters is much easier than somewhere like Minnesota. One surprise for me was the revenue of Green Bay which I would have expected to be a small market low revenue franchise.
It is also interesting to take a look at net income, a franchise might have big revenue that is then offset by large expenses and be in the same spot as a 'frugal' franchise. The net income also gives an idea of how much more is available to spend on player salary and still have the organization break even.
This last number is what I'm calling 'Cap Gap'; this is the cap room that the team has available with their net income subtracted; this is the amount of cap that the team can't use even if it wanted to because they just don't have the income to support that large a payroll. The larger the cap gap; the less competitive you would expect the team to be. Any team with a negative 'Cap Gap' could hit the cap with payroll and still make money. Looking at these figures you can see why the Cowboys might take on another big salary; while Detroit would need to dump it. If the Collective Bargaining Agreement is not renewed, the teams with the most negative values would be able to spend that money on salaries. The Redskins would be in a good position to become the New York Yankees of the NFL.
Finally it occured to me that 'dollars in payroll'/wins isn't a bad way to measure the effectiveness of a front office. So how many dollars in payroll did each win cost. Here I have included the first part of the 2008 season as well as all last season for regular season games only. The lower the millions per victory, the better the front end management is doing.
There you have it, the Titans management is racking up wins at a rate five times less than the Dolphins. Ultimately this analysis makes me hope that a new CBA does get done, because if we remove the cap I think that we will be well on the road to establishing salary based dynasties in the NFL.