The NFL’s Best and Worst Owners

The NFL’s Best and Worst Owners

After the Super Bowl, when a new group of players becomes champions, it won’t be Matthew Stafford or Joe Burrow who hoists the Lombardi Trophy first – that honor goes to the owner of the winning team. Though they often do not get the same attention as players or coaches, NFL owners can make all the difference in an organization.

While some owners are less active than others in deciding which coaches to hire and fire, they are ultimately responsible for the stability and success of the franchise. Good owners can ensure their team makes the playoffs most seasons, while bad owners can leave their team to become a dysfunctional mess on and off the field.

To determine the NFL’s best and worst owners, 24/7 Tempo created an index using data from Pro Football Reference. The index consists of regular season win percentage, playoff frequency, head coaching stability, and Super Bowl victories during the tenure of an owner.

The principal owners of eight teams – the Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Pittsburgh Steelers – have been at the helm for five or fewer seasons, so they were not considered.

All NFL teams except the publicly-owned Green Bay Packers are owned and operated by either one individual owner or an ownership group. Franchises are either purchased or inherited, but getting wealthy in business doesn’t automatically make someone equipped to run a team, nor does inheriting a franchise. The best owners hire good coaches and front office personnel who help make the team successful. On the other hand, bad owners are often out of their depth when it comes to running a football franchise.

Some may not have a deep understanding of the game and make bad decisions on players, coaches, and executives. Others may not even be that interested in winning games as long as their franchise becomes more valuable. Some owners do not even live in the same city as their team, while several other owners have forced their franchises to relocate, breaking the hearts of millions of fans. These are the cities that have lost the most teams.

Poor ownership can spill over into off-the-field issues as well. Several NFL teams have been accused of discriminatory hiring practices, pervasive cultures of sexual harassment, poor hiring and firing decisions, crumbling stadiums, and more.

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24. Shahid Khan: Jacksonville Jaguars
> Owner since: 2012
> Record: 42-119-0 (.261 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 1 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 6

Since auto parts billionaire Shahid Khan took over the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012, the franchise has been a mess. In 2021, head coach Urban Meyer was fired 13 games into his first season following a litany of misconduct allegations and poor play on the field. Meyer’s replacement, Darrell Bevell, is Jacksonville’s fifth head coach in Khan’s decade of running the Jags, a higher turnover than almost every other NFL franchise.

Jacksonville’s .261 win percentage under Khan is by far the lowest of any long-term owner. The Jags have made one playoff appearance in that time, after making the postseason six times in 17 seasons under previous owner Wayne Weaver. Jacksonville fans have been frustrated with Khan for years, and not just for the poor results. The team has played a home game in London nearly every season since he purchased the team.

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23. Jimmy Haslam III: Cleveland Browns
> Owner since: 2012
> Record: 52-108-1 (.323 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 1 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 7

Jimmy Haslam III is one of just two longer-term NFL owners whose team have won less than a third of their games during his tenure. Haslam is also the CEO of truck stop company Pilot Flying J, which was founded by his father. Under Haslam, the Browns have never finished above third in their division, though they did make the playoffs once in 2020 as a Wild Card. Cleveland earned their first postseason win since the franchise reformed in 1999.

The average Browns coach has lasted less than 1.5 seasons, with seven head coaches in 10 seasons. This is by far the fastest coaching turnover rate of any owner, though current coach Kevin Stefanski may break that cycle – he was named AP Coach of the Year in 2020, his first season.

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22. Stephen Ross: Miami Dolphins
> Owner since: 2009
> Record: 96-113-0 (.459 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 1 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 7

Under real estate mogul Stephen Ross, the Miami Dolphins have had little coaching stability and will be moving onto their seventh coach since Ross took over in 2009. The recent firing of coach Brian Flores after the 2021 season shocked the football world. Flores just coached his team to a second straight winning season in his third year in charge, though they failed to make the playoffs both times. Recently, however, as part of a discrimination lawsuit, Flores claimed that Ross offered him $100,000 to lose on purpose during the 2019 season to try to get the Dolphins a higher draft pick.

Under Ross, the team has never finished with fewer than six wins in a season, but Miami has had just one playoff appearance in that time. Among owners with more than a decade in charge, Ross’ Dolphins are the only team without multiple postseason appearances.

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21. Mark Davis: Las Vegas Raiders
> Owner since: 2011
> Record: 73-104-0 (.412 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 2 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 7

Mark Davis has been the principal owner of the Las Vegas Raiders since 2011. He took over from his father, Al Davis, who had owned the franchise for more than four decades. With Mark as owner, the Raiders have made the playoffs just twice, losing in the Wild Card round both times.

The Raiders have lacked stability under Davis – the franchise hired Josh McDaniels to be its seventh different head coach in the last 11 seasons. Only the Cleveland Browns ownership has had a higher coaching turnover rate. In 2021, head coach Jon Gruden resigned after leaked emails showed him using racist, misogynistic, and anti-gay language. Davis also relocated the franchise to Las Vegas in 2020 after 25 seasons in Oakland. It was the second time the Bay Area lost the Raiders. The first was when the team decamped to Los Angeles in 1982.

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20. Daniel Snyder: Washington Commanders
> Owner since: 1999
> Record: 156-212-1 (.423 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 6 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 10

Daniel Snyder’s tenure as owner of the Washington Commanders has been more notable for the off-field issues than the on-field performance. Since Snyder, a billionaire marketing executive, took over, the Commanders’ arena’s water pipes burst and spilled on fans on at least two occasions, and the franchise had a bungled rebrand from its former “Redskins” moniker that led the team to be known simply as the “Washington Football Team” for two seasons, and a $10 million fine for a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination from high-level employees and Snyder.

Previous Washington majority owner Jack Kent Cooke won three Super Bowls during his tenure. Since Snyder bought the team, Washington have won just two playoff games – the most recent one coming in 2006. Between full-time head coaches and interim coaches, the team has also been through 10 coaches in his 23 seasons.

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19. Woody Johnson: New York Jets
> Owner since: 2000
> Record: 154-199-0 (.436 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 6 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 7

The New York Jets were purchased in 2000 by Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical heir Woody Johnson. His tenure got off to a good start, with New York making the playoffs in six of Johnson’s first 11 seasons in charge. The team even advanced to two straight AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010 under coach Rex Ryan, but lost both times.

More recently, the Jets have struggled. The team has not made a playoff appearance since 2010 and lost more than 10 games in five of the last six seasons. Going forward, New York fans hope that QB Zach Wilson and head coach Robert Saleh will have more success in their second seasons than they did in their first, in which the Jets finished 4-13.

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18. Jed York: San Francisco 49ers
> Owner since: 2009
> Record: 104-104-1 (.498 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 5 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 6

Jed York became San Francisco 49ers CEO in 2009, taking over the franchise that has been in his family since the 1970s. The team has won exactly as many games as it lost in the regular season during his 13 seasons in charge, with seasons oscillating between terrific and terrible. Though San Francisco have missed the playoffs more than they made them under York, they tend to go on deep runs when in the postseason.

After missing the playoffs in York’s first two seasons, the 49ers hired Jim Harbaugh in 2011 who turned the team into contenders, making three straight postseason appearances, including one that ended in a Super Bowl loss. After firing Harbaugh, the 49ers had two one-and-done coaches before hiring Kyle Shanahan. In his five seasons as head coach, the team has made the playoffs twice, losing to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl and losing to the Rams in the NFC Championship game.

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17. Mike Brown: Cincinnati Bengals
> Owner since: 1991
> Record: 202-291-4 (.410 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 8 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 6

In 1991, Mike Brown took over the team his father founded more than 20 years earlier. Before the 2021 season, the Bengals had never won a single playoff game during his tenure – a drought of over three decades. Brown was especially culpable for this stretch, as he also serves as the team’s de facto general manager.

The team had constant turnover at head coach in Brown’s early years, with four coaches in his first decade as owner. The franchise settled down with the hiring of Marvin Lewis in 2003, who brought the team to the postseason seven times in his 16 seasons, though each appearance ended in a Wild Card round loss. The future is bright in Cincinnati – the Bengals will appear in the Super Bowl, with young superstars like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase hoping to make the franchise a powerhouse for years to come.

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16. Stan Kroenke: Los Angeles Rams
> Owner since: 2010
> Record: 95-97-1 (.492 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 4 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 4

Though the Los Angeles Rams have a losing record under the ownership of Stan Kroenke, the franchise seems to be heading in the right direction. The real estate maven saw his team miss the playoffs each of the first seven seasons he owned them from 2010-2016, but the team has been one of the NFL’s best since hiring Sean McVay as head coach in 2017. Under McVay, the Rams have made the playoffs four out of five seasons and will appear in their second Super Bowl in four years in February 2022.

Kroenke, a Missouri native, upset many in the state when he moved the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016. He and the NFL agreed to a $790 million settlement after St. Louis sued over the relocation, arguing Kroenke violated the NFL’s relocation guidelines and did not operate in good faith in regards to the move.

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15. Arthur Blank: Atlanta Falcons
> Owner since: 2002
> Record: 164-156-1 (.511 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 8 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 9

Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank bought the Atlanta Falcons in 2002. The team had only made the postseason six times in the 36 seasons before Blank took over and has made it eight times in the 20 years since. Atlanta looked to be on the cusp of its first Super Bowl win in 2017, before the team blew a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots.

The Falcons have consistently been competitive under Blank, winning more games than they have lost and never losing more than 12 games in a season during his tenure. Aside from the turbulent season with Bobby Petrino, the Falcons have had good consistency with their head coaches, giving leaders like Mike Smith and Dan Quinn time to implement their systems.

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14. Zygi Wilf: Minnesota Vikings
> Owner since: 2005
> Record: 141-130-2 (.516 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 6 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 5

Billionaire real estate developer Zygi Wilf has owned the Minnesota Vikings, along with his family, since 2005. During his time as owner, the Vikings have played well, with a 141-130-2 record and a respectable six postseason appearances in his 17 seasons.

Mike Zimmer, who was Minnesota’s head coach for eight seasons, was the longest tenured coach under Wilf but was just fired after the 2021 season. The next Vikings coach will be the fifth in Wilf’s tenure.

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13. Dean Spanos: Los Angeles Chargers
> Owner since: 2006
> Record: 139-118-0 (.541 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 6 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 5

Dean Spanos inherited the Los Angeles Chargers from his father, an apartment developer, ahead of the 2006 season. Under Spanos, the Chargers have been consistently mediocre, winning between seven and nine games in nine of his 16 seasons as owner.

The Chargers made the postseason each of Spanos’ first four seasons in charge from 2006-2009, but have only made the playoffs twice since and never advanced to a Super Bowl. In 2017, the Chargers left San Diego, their home town for over 50 seasons, to split a stadium with the Rams in Los Angeles.

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12. Terry Pegula: Buffalo Bills
> Owner since: 2014
> Record: 73-56-0 (.566 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 4 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 4

Oil and natural gas businessman Terry Pegula is one of the newer owners in the NFL, having purchased the Buffalo Bills in 2014. After cycling through three head coaches in his first three seasons, the Bills hired Sean McDermott in 2017, and the team has been terrific since.

Before Pegula took over, the Bills had not made the playoffs since 1999. Since then, they have made four postseason appearances in the past five seasons. Though they came up short in the 2021 season, the team had a top five offense and defense and look as if they will contend for Super Bowls for many years, as young QB Josh Allen is one of the NFL’s brightest stars.

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11. Glazer Family: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
> Owner since: 2014
> Record: 58-71-0 (.450 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 2 (1 Super Bowl win)
> Coaches: 3

Brothers Joel, Bryan, and Edward Glazer took over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014 from their father, Malcolm. The Bucs struggled early under the Glazers, failing to make the playoffs in the brothers’ first six seasons in charge with a 58-71 record. But things turned around when Tom Brady came to town for the 2020 season.

Not only did the Bucs make the playoffs in Brady’s first season in Tampa, they won the Super Bowl. The team made the playoffs in 2021 as well but lost to the Los Angeles Rams. Though Brady recently retired, the Bucs could continue to be a force in the NFC, with a stingy defense, a solid offensive line and quality skill position players like Leonard Fournette and Mike Evans.

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10. Virginia Halas McCaskey: Chicago Bears
> Owner since: 1983
> Record: 320-304-0 (.513 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 14 (1 Super Bowl win)
> Coaches: 8

Virginia Halas McCaskey took over the franchise from her father, legendary Bears owner and coach George Halas, in 1983. Just three seasons into Halas McCaskey’s tenure, coach Mike Ditka and the 1985 Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl as one of the most dominant and exciting teams in NFL history.

Since Ditka left, the Bears have made just seven playoff appearances in 29 seasons. The team has struggled to find a long-term coaching option, parting ways with Matt Nagy after the 2021 season.

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9. John Mara and Steve Tisch: New York Giants
> Owner since: 2005
> Record: 129-144-0 (.473 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 6 (2 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 6

Though the New York Giants have a losing record under joint owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, they are one of just three current NFL ownership structures with multiple Super Bowl championships. The Giants won the Super Bowl following the 2007 and 2011 seasons, upsetting the favored New England Patriots both times.

New York made the postseason in five of the first seven years that Mara and Tisch ran the Giants as team president and chairman, respectively, beginning in 2005. Much of the success can be attributed to coach Tom Coughlin, who led the Giants from 2004-2015. Since Coughlin left, the Giants have struggled, making just one playoff appearance. The team has also struggled to find a head coach – Joe Judge just became the third straight full-time Giants head coach to be fired before his third year, following Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur out the door. The Tisch and Mara families have split control of the New York Giants since 1991, when Steve’s father John Tisch bought a 50% stake from John Mara’s uncle Tim.

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8. Amy Adams Strunk: Tennessee Titans
> Owner since: 2016
> Record: 59-38-0 (.608 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 4 (0 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 2

Amy Adams Strunk took over the Tennessee Titans from her father, franchise founder Bud Adams. In her six seasons at the helm, the Titans have made four postseason appearances and posted six consecutive winning records. With a .608 winning percentage, Tennessee is one of just three NFL franchises to win more than 60% of their games and appear in the playoffs most seasons under current management.

The Titans have had just two coaches under Adams Strunk – Mike Mularkey, who parted ways with the team after the 2017 season, and Mike Vrabel. Vrabel appears to be an excellent hire, as he has led his team to a winning record all four seasons in charge and was named the 2021 Coach of the Year. Though the team suffered a surprising loss to the Cincinnati Bengals as the top seed in the AFC playoffs after the 2021 season, Adams Strunk has the franchise in position to succeed for years to come.

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7. Jeffrey Lurie: Philadelphia Eagles
> Owner since: 1994
> Record: 244-202-3 (.543 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 16 (1 Super Bowl win)
> Coaches: 7

Jeffrey Lurie is one of the longest-tenured and most consistent owners in the NFL. The former film executive has guided the Philadelphia Eagles to 16 playoff appearances in 28 seasons, tied for the second-most postseason trips among current owners. Since Lurie purchased the Eagles, Philly has never gone more than three seasons without a trip to the playoffs, and the team has a .543 winning percentage during that time.

Under Lurie, the Eagles have had seven different coaches – six full time and one interim. All six full-time coaches have made the playoffs at least once with the Eagles. Most recently, Nick Sirianni led the team to the playoffs in his first season of 2021. Lurie also was instrumental in bringing the Eagles their first ever Super Bowl, an exciting upset over the New England Patriots in 2018.

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6. Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys
> Owner since: 1989
> Record: 288-241-0 (.544 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 16 (3 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 8

Oil magnate Jerry Jones has owned the Dallas Cowboys for more than 30 years. One of the most outspoken and well-known NFL owners, Jones also serves as the team’s de facto general manager. Under Jones, Dallas won three Super Bowls and have made the postseason in 16 of his 33 seasons as owner.

The Cowboys were almost immediately successful after Jones purchased them in 1989. He hired head coach Jimmy Johnson, who took Dallas from last place to Super Bowl Champion in the space of four years – the first of three Super Bowls Jones would win with the Cowboys. After the 1990s era of star players like Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin came to an end, the Cowboys have struggled to regain their stride. Though they have made the postseason on a fairly consistent basis, the Cowboys have just three playoff wins since 1997.

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5. Clark Hunt: Kansas City Chiefs
> Owner since: 2007
> Record: 132-109-0 (.548 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 9 (1 Super Bowl win)
> Coaches: 4

Clark Hunt serves as the chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs, the franchise his father founded in 1960. Before Hunt assumed control, the Chiefs were fairly mediocre, with one Super Bowl win coming in 1970. The 2022 Chiefs are a powerhouse with a bright future.

After an up and down start to Hunt’s tenure as CEO, the Chiefs hired head coach Andy Reid in 2013. Reid has brought an unprecedented stretch of success to Kansas City, earning a winning record each season. He and superstar QB Patrick Mahomes have turned KC into one of the best offenses in the NFL. Kansas City has made the AFC Championship game four times in a row and snapped a 50-year Super Bowl drought, beating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

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4. James Irsay: Indianapolis Colts
> Owner since: 1997
> Record: 236-165-0 (.589 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 16 (1 Super Bowl win)
> Coaches: 5

James Irsay inherited the Indianapolis Colts from his father, Robert, in 1997, the season before they drafted Peyton Manning. Prior to Manning’s arrival, Robert Irsay’s Colts made just six playoff appearances in 26 seasons. With Manning, the Colts made the postseason 11 out of 13 seasons and won the Super Bowl in 2007.

Even after Manning, the Colts have continued to be a good team, making the playoffs five of the last 10 seasons and narrowly missing out in 2021. All in all, Indianapolis has been a terrific franchise under James Irsay, winning nearly 60% of games and frequently making the postseason. It has also been a stable franchise, with the average coach lasting five years.

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3. Mark Murphy: Green Bay Packers
> CEO since: 2008
> Record: 145-78-2 (.644 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 11 (1 Super Bowl win)
> Coaches: 3

The Green Bay Packers ownership is structured differently than all other teams. The franchise is owned by shareholders, functions as a nonprofit, and is run by the Packers Board of Directors. Mark Murphy is president and CEO of the organization and functions as Green Bay’s de facto owner.

The Packers have made the playoffs 11 of the 14 seasons Murphy has been CEO, tied for the highest rate of playoff appearances under current ownership with the New England Patriots.

Green Bay won the Super Bowl after the 2010 season, their only title under Murphy. The team has also been one of the most stable, with just three coaches during that time – Super Bowl winner Mike McCarthy, interim replacement Joe Philbin, and Matt LaFleur, who has won 13 games all three of his seasons at the helm.

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2. Steve Bisciotti: Baltimore Ravens
> Owner since: 2004
> Record: 170-119-0 (.588 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 10 (1 Super Bowl win)
> Coaches: 2

Steve Bisciotti, who co-founded staffing firm Allegis Group, bought the Baltimore Ravens in 2004. Since taking charge, Bisciotti has guided the Ravens to 10 playoff appearances and one Super Bowl title. Perennial contenders, Baltimore has only finished four seasons with a losing record in Bisciotti’s 18 seasons in charge.

Part of the Ravens’ success is consistency – John Harbaugh has been the Ravens coach since 2008. He was the only coach ever hired by Bisciotti, as previous Brian Billick retained the job for several years after the franchise changed hands.

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1. Robert Kraft: New England Patriots
> Owner since: 1994
> Record: 308-141-0 (.686 win pct.)
> Playoff appearances: 22 (6 Super Bowl wins)
> Coaches: 3

It may be hard to recall, but before Robert Kraft purchased the New England Patriots in 1994, they were an afterthought of an NFL franchise, with just a handful of playoff appearances and no titles. Since then, the team has made the playoffs 22 times and won six Super Bowls – tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most among franchises. New England’s .686 winning percentage under Kraft is by far the best of any owner.

The Pats have been dominant since hiring Bill Belichick to be head coach in 2000. With 21 seasons in charge, Belichick is by far the longest-tenured active NFL head coach. Even in the years before Belichick was hired, coaches Bill Parcells and Pete Carroll made two playoff appearances apiece while Kraft owned New England. Even after the departure of QB Tom Brady, the Patriots have remained competitive, making the 2021 playoffs with rookie QB Mac Jones.

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