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Bengals 1 of 3 NFL teams not among 50 most valuable sports teams of 2017

The Bengals took a big dip in 2016, which hurt the franchise’s overall value.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL makes more money than any single professional league around the world.

That’s why you’ll see NFL teams featured prominently in lists of the top grossing professional teams in all of sports. That includes Forbes’ latest ranking of the top 50 most valuable professional teams spanning every sports league in the world.

The Dallas Cowboys lead the way with the No. 1 spot on this list. They’re one of 29 NFL teams to be featured in this ranking, which is based on valuations done over the past year for NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, F1, soccer and Nascar (no NHL, F1 or Nascar teams made the top 50).

However, only three NFL teams did not make the cut, including the Cincinnati Bengals, who were joined by the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions to not make this list. You would think a team like the Bengals, who’ve made the playoffs in five of the last six seasons, would have made this ranking over teams like the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chargers.

Apparently, that’s not the case, even though Cincinnati has won far more games than those aforementioned franchises. Why is that?

Perhaps it’s just because the Bengals don’t have as big of a fanbase nationally and worldwide as those other teams may have. Perhaps the fan support and merchandising isn’t as strong in Cincinnati as it is in Cleveland, Jacksonville and San Diego. Perhaps Browns, Jaguars and Chargers fans enjoy watching their teams lose more than Bengals fans.

All of this could be a result of the Bengals failing to win a playoff game during the 14-going-on-15-year tenure of Marvin Lewis, not to mention his team went 6-9-1 in 2016. It was easily one of Lewis’ worst seasons as head coach of the Bengals.

Who knows the real reason why the Bengals fail to generate as much money as nearly every other team in the NFL. Only time will tell if they do enough to make more money going forward. It’s never a good look when you’re in the same conversation as the Bills and Lions, but apparently the Bengals just aren’t that valuable in comparison to other NFL franchises.