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Three teams hold, Bills drop on Forbes list

The annual Forbes list of NFL team values came out Wednesday.

For the first time since Forbes started calculating estimates in 1998, the average value dropped.

In the AFC East, the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins held their own, while the New York Jets fell 2 percent and the Buffalo Bills dropped 12 percent.

Forbes estimated the Patriots are worth $1.367 billion, third in the NFL behind the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

The Jets, who opened their $1.6 billion privately financed stadium this year, were sixth on the Forbes list at $1.144 billion.

The Dolphins were 16th at $1.011 billion, giving the AFC East three of the 16 teams that are worth 10 figures.

The Bills were 28th at $799 million, ahead of the St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Buffalo's 12 percent drop was the third-worst, lowering it to a pre-2007 valuation. Only St. Louis (15 percent) and Jacksonville (16 percent) were more precipitous.

Here is how Forbes explained its formula for estimating values:

Revenues and operating income are for 2009 season. Value of team based on current stadium deal (unless new stadium is pending) without deduction for debt (other than stadium debt). Debt/value includes stadium debt. Revenue is net of stadium revenues used for debt payments. Operating income is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Forbes computes several insightful numbers to measure how well a team spends its money.

One is player-costs-to-wins ratio, which takes into account how well a team does relative to its payroll compared to the NFL average. A score of 120, for example, indicates a team has won 20 percent more games per dollar of payroll than the average.

  • Jets: 133

  • Patriots: 123

  • Dolphins: 70

  • Bills: 69

Another interesting stat is revenue per fan, an equation that takes into account local revenues divided by metro population. That number is then divided in half in markets that include two clubs.

  • Bills: $59

  • Patriots: $36

  • Dolphins: $17

  • Jets: $8