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$4.65 billion for Broncos is just a sign of things to come

As star players continue to get more and more expensive, the Walton-Penner family adds an unprecedented tier of wealth as the new owners of the Broncos, which can only be good news for Denver fans.

The value of NFL teams is going up. And it will keep going up. And up. And up.

As explained in Playmakers (which continues to be available for far less than an NFL franchise), some believe the average, random team eventually will be worth $8 billion to $10 billion.

It’s an important point for the players to remember when negotiating with the league. Even though the money coming through the cash register is roughly split on a 50-50 basis between management and labor, the players have no equity. The owners have all of it.

Broncos kicker Brandon McManus, a member of the NFL Players Association’s Executive Committee, addressed the dynamic of rising franchise values on Thursday.

“That’s the nature this business is going,” McManus told reporters, via quotes distributed by the team. “In [2018] the [Carolina] Panthers sold, and this is more than double. Baseball used to be America’s game, but I don’t think it’s anywhere close now. Football prints money, and it’s going to continue. They salary cap continues to go [up], the TV rights continue to go [up]. Gambling is just getting started. The values of these teams are going to continue to skyrocket, I believe.”

He believes right. Before too long, $4.65 billion will look like a bargain. The next team to be sold likely will hit $5 billion, especially since Josh Harris (as we’ve reported) would have paid $5 billion for the Broncos if he’d known that bid would have secured the team.

As we also reported, it wouldn’t have. The Walton-Penner group would have bid more than $5 billion. And they would have kept going, maybe past $5.5 billion.

Regardless of the final price, McManus realizes the benefit of having a true owner again.

“Any business structure is great when you have someone in place to lead and follow, and someone for our top executives to lean on,” McManus said. “With Rob [Walton] and the Walton-Penner group coming in here, I’m excited to have some direction. I know from their business standards the accountability that they’ll have at the top, and they’ll hold everyone to it to get us back to the winning ways that I’ve been hoping to get to.”

Simms and I touched on the subject during Thursday’s PFT Live. The quality of a team’s owner and ownership’s willingness and ability to fund the football operation is critical the the team’s success. Or lack thereof.

For the Broncos, it’s good news to have been purchased by one of the richest men in the world. By a man in Rob Walton who will become the richest owner in the NFL, by far. He’ll presumably give the front office the resources it needs to put a great team on the field. And that will make the Broncos real contenders again, ending a dry period that began after the retirement of Peyton Manning.