FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 16th, 2022
PETER KING INTERVIEWS JERRY JONES ABOUT NFL FRANCHISE VALUATIONS & DISCUSSES THE UPCOMING SALE OF THE BRONCOS IN THIS WEEK’S “FMIA” COLUMN
“The NFL’s a freight train, speeding down the tracks. Ten billion for a franchise? The day will come, and sooner than you think.” – King on NFL franchise valuations
“More than $10 billion. But let me make this very clear, I’ll say it definitively. I will never do it. I will never sell the Cowboys. Ever.” – Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
“I think one of the most interesting things that happened in the draft was a rookie GM trading in the first round with a team in his own division, then trading in the second round with another team in his division.” – King on the Vikings’ first draft under GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 16, 2022 – Peter King discusses the upcoming sale of the Denver Broncos and why the NFL’s first $10 billion franchise isn’t far away in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also speaks with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, breaks down the 2022 NFL schedule and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
THE BRONCOS & NFL FRANCHISE VALUATIONS
King: “The value of an NFL franchise has doubled in five years. The Denver Broncos are about to be sold for an estimated $4.5 billion, twice the number David Tepper paid for the Carolina Panthers in 2018.”
King on the Cowboys: “Think of it this way: Denver’s price will be about 30 times what Jerry Jones paid for the Dallas Cowboys 33 years ago. In 1989, Jones paid $150 million for the Cowboys and for Texas Stadium, the team was losing $1 million per month, and cornerstone owner Lamar Hunt of Kansas City called it ‘the greatest risk I’ve ever seen an owner take.’ … What a difference a generation makes.”
Jones to King on the NFL’s evolution: “Every day, every week, it never ceases to amaze me how the NFL continues to evolve and continues to grow and continues to dominate the [sports] landscape. Every time I think I totally understand it, it still blows me away.”
King on the Broncos’ valuation for their upcoming sale: “Amazing, especially considering that when Forbes did its annual valuation of franchises this year, the Broncos were 10th. So if the Broncos are 10th and worth $4.5 billion, what are the rolling-in-dough Cowboys worth? Forbes says $6.5 billion. The smartest business consultant in NFL circles, Marc Ganis, told me he thinks Jones would get $8 billion or $8.5 billion if he tried to sell.”
Jones on how much he thinks he could sell the Cowboys for: “More than $10 billion. But let me make this very clear, I’ll say it definitively. I will never do it. I will never sell the Cowboys. Ever.”
King on the events that led to the rise in NFL franchise’s values: “One: The NFL has made consecutive 10- and 11-year labor deals with its players union…Two: The NFL owns the sports calendar, and the media is only too happy to cover the league with an unending year-round fervor Three: The NFL just made media-rights deals for a decade totaling $113 billion. Within 10 years, the media money each team will get annually, guaranteed, will rise from $250 million to $380 million.”
Ganis to King: “The NFL has become the emperor of content, in season and out. Technology is changing, and people’s habits are changing, and the NFL is at the forefront of those things. They’re at the forefront of streaming and gambling. If fans didn’t want more content, more events, they wouldn’t support what the NFL is doing. But they do. The NFL had a strategy of creating more events and they’ve all worked.”
Jones on fan interest: “The foibles, the soap opera, the issues. They create interest. Add in the Senior Bowl, the combine, free agency, the draft, training camp, we always got something going. People follow us year ‘round. The owner every now and then gets in the paper. It just adds to the interest, all of it. People love that.”
King: “The next billionaire to love it, really love it, is going to pay in the range of $4.5 billion to own one of these 32 cash cows in Denver. The NFL’s a freight train, speeding down the tracks. Ten billion for a franchise? The day will come, and sooner than you think.”
2022 NFL SCHEDULE
King on the NFL schedule release: “The making of the schedule has become a pretty cool story, going back to the days when a schedule-nerd like me staked out the story every spring…It’s even a bigger deal now – a nationally televised, massively over-covered big deal.”
King on the Titans at Packers on Thursday night in Week 11: “The NFL was going to give Amazon one Packers game…Late in the process, 92 percent of the schedules spat out by the computers had Jets-Packers as the Green Bay home game. Nice, but not great…So Tennessee was put in the Week 11 Thursday slot, traveling to Green Bay.”
King: “That did create one problem the league dreaded. Tennessee would be one of two teams (Dallas the other) to play two short-week Thursday games; this year is the first time that has been required. So if the Jets had stayed in this slot at Green Bay, Tennessee would have had only one Thursday night game. Now the Titans will have two.”
King on the Packers’ schedule: “Of the 17 games on Green Bay’s schedule, a league-high 12 of them will be in national windows…Other teams with 10 or more: Dallas 11, Kansas City 10, Rams 10.”
King on the Rams’ schedule: “This one hit me more than it hit others. The Rams play a Monday night December game at Lambeau Field, a Week-15 game that could have major bearing on home-field in the NFC playoffs (could being the operative word). Pretty big edge for Green Bay, because not only could that be a lousy-weather game for the team from southern California, but also it comes 15 days after the Packers’ previous game. Green Bay will be coming off its bye.”
King on the Steelers’ schedule: “I think of all the stats related to the schedule this season, this one is my favorite: Air miles flown by Seattle in Week 13: 10,566. Air miles flown by Pittsburgh in the four-month regular season: 6,046. The Steelers have eight road trips, and will never leave the Eastern Time Zone. The Seahawks travel through nine time zones to get to Munich to play the Bucs on Nov. 13.”
King on the Chargers’ schedule release announcement: “So the Chargers’ 14-member video/social/wiseass team put together a work of art in what has become a highly competitive business for reasons totally beyond me – social videos trumpeting the release of a team’s schedule… This year, lots of teams used imaginative plotlines to promote their schedules…But the best was the 2-minute, 7-second anime (the Japanese style of animation meant to appeal to adults probably more than children) done by the Chargers that was so full of subtle digs that it’s stunning they crammed all the action into 127 seconds.”
King on the Chargers’ video: “The goal: to reach a sub-culture outside of football, to drive conversation and connect with an audience the Chargers wouldn’t normally relate, in hopes that the franchise would entertain Chargers fans and new fans…the overall imagination – beginning with (Chargers feature producer and editor, Andrew) Cordova, the big anime fan on the Chargers’ staff, was simply superb.”
NEWS & NOTES
King on the Vikings’ draft: “I think one of the most interesting things that happened in the draft was a rookie GM – with a team that’s a sneaky threat to go deep into the playoffs – trading in the first round with a team in his own division, then trading in the second round with another team in his division. And both of those division rivals picked receivers who could haunt the Vikings…It’s arguable that one day he’ll regret trading down from 12th overall to 32nd with Detroit, allowing the Lions to pick Alabama receiver Jameson Williams. It’s arguable, but probably to a lesser degree, that he’ll regret trading down with Green Bay at 34 and handing the Packers wideout Christian Watson.”
King: “So why do I think (Vikings GM) Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did the right thing for his franchise? It comes down to this: The Vikings started the draft with two picks in the top 70. By the time day two was over, they’d made four picks in the top 70. And they were able to, in Adofo-Mensah’s words, ‘do more about the basket of problems we were trying to solve’ than if they’d sat at 12.”
King: “The math says Minnesota started the day with 12 and 47 and, with other picks being involved, turned those into four need players at 32, 42, 59 and 66…This is just me, but knowing what I know and the alternatives the new GM had, I’d have been disappointed if he just sat and picked. Williams could turn out to be a great receiver and he could torment the Vikings, but if three of those four players become valued starters over the next four to five years, it’s a win for Minnesota.”
King on Tom Brady as a future analyst: “I think the easy thing to say about Brady is he’s gotten used to being so vanilla in his public statements that there’s no way he’ll change and be the kind of analyst that once or twice a game will throw a zinger or a dagger. I actually think the opposite, or nearly the opposite…I think he’ll work at it. He’ll know that, just like in football 21 years ago, the TV pros will be looking at him with skepticism. He’s not clever enough, he’s not honest enough. He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is.”
Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.
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A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.