The Lions are off to a great start inside their newly renovated stadium, but they're still at the bottom of the list when it comes to valuable NFL franchises.

Forbes released their list of the most valuable NFL franchises recently, and despite growing their value, The Lions were next to last on the list. This seems a little backwards considering the Lions QB just became the highest paid player in NFL history.

The most valuable NFL franchise is the same as it has been for the last decade. The Dallas Cowboys have dominated this list, despite disappointing fans on the field. The reason they win the value game is thanks to some great deals that Jerry Jones put into place.

Some other factors that help raise a teams value are new stadiums, corporate sponsorship, and of course winning on the field. That being said, here are the top five most valuable teams in the NFL.

  1. Dallas Cowboys - $4.8 Billion
  2. New England Patriots - $3.7 Billion
  3. New York Giants - $3.3 Billion
  4. Washington Redskins - $3.1 Billion
  5. San Francisco 49ers - $3.05 Billion

That's not a typo, all of those teams are making BILLIONS of dollars. In fact, there are only five NFL teams that are making less than $2 Billion annually . . . and yes Detroit is one of them.

The Lions rank 31st out of the 32 NFL teams at $1.7 Billion annually. The good news is that is a 3% increase over last year, but the bad news is that 3% is the second lowest yearly increase of all NFL teams.

This might not make a ton of sense to Lions fans here in Michigan. We are 2-0, with the highest paid player in NFL history. We just did a ton of upgrades to Ford Field, and we added cheerleaders.

Getty Images

I know the cheerleaders don't have anything to do with it, but I really wanted to put that picture in the article.

The bad fact is that outside of Michigan, nobody cares about the Lions. We're surrounded by some of the most loyal and fanatical fan bases in all of football. The Packers, Bears, Browns, and Steelers all keep their local fans and probably draw some from Michigan.

Think about the merchandise side of the equation. When was the last time you were out of Michigan and saw someone randomly wearing a Lions jersey? Probably never.

Now think about the last time you saw someone in Michigan wearing a Patriots, Cowboys, or Packers jersey. Probably yesterday.

The one thing that the Lions can do to increase their franchise value is win, and win for a long time. A super bowl ring would give the franchise a huge bump, and maybe draw in new fans.

I definitely think that Detroit is on the right track, but it will be another 10 years before anyone can touch the Cowboys.  In the meantime, I'm just over here hoping that we can get a playoff win, and maybe make a championship run.