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Bengals valued at less than $1 billion

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals are one of seven NFL franchises valued at less than $1 billion, according to the Forbes NFL Team Values list that was released Wednesday.

The Bengals are worth about $990 million, according to the magazine. They outpace the Raiders ($970 million), Jaguars ($965 million), Lions ($960 million) and Rams ($930 million). The Chargers also are valued at less than $1 billion, generating a net worth of $995 million.

Dallas led all NFL teams with an estimated value of $3.2 billion. The Patriots ranked second, said to be worth $2.6 billion.

This is the eighth consecutive season the Cowboys have sat atop Forbes' valuation rankings. They have risen in value by $900 million to become the only NFL team worth more than $3 billion. Among global sports franchises, they trail only soccer club Real Madrid ($3.4 billion) in value.

According to Forbes, the average NFL team is worth $1.43 billion. That's 23 percent more than this time last year, marking the biggest year-over-year increase in average team value since 1999.

Per the magazine, the Bengals had $258 million in revenue last season while generating $12 million in income. As Forbes points out, the Bengals are in the process of asking Hamilton County (Ohio) to cede them naming rights to Paul Brown Stadium in exchange for allowing the county to build a nearby apartment building that is eight to 10 feet higher than the Bengals said was allowed under the team's stadium lease. Construction already is underway in the Riverfront area now known locally as "The Banks."