When fans watch an NFL game, it’s usually a little bit of a stretch to watch a star pass rusher bring down a quarterback and think, “wow, my owner had a lot to do with that play.”
Fans also never witness a 50-yard handoff that goes the distance and ponder, “if I had a different owner, would that back even be on the roster?”
While these realizations don’t usually take place on gameday, the thought of ownership usually comes into play after the season in a notable way.
What does ownership think of the job the head coach and general manager are doing?
Does the owner want to put his or her foot down to acquire a certain player?
Usually fans of teams with excellent ownership don’t worry about these dynamics too much, because there’s an infrastructure in place that has been proven to work over many years.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the three best owners in the NFL today.
3. The Rooney Family
It’s hard to make a list like this without first touching upon professional sports ownership royalty.
We begin with the Rooney family, who has owned the Pittsburgh Steelers since they were created in 1933.
They’ve played in integral part in establishing one of the flagship franchises in all of professional sports, and have been a pillar of stability as the NFL has evolved.
Their success cannot be understated, as the Steelers have won six Super Bowls under the Rooneys.
Perhaps the most endearing quality about the way the Rooneys run their football team is the immense loyalty they show their coaches.
We may never see another 51-year stretch for any sports franchise where only three people have served as head coach.
2. Robert Kraft
Despite turning 80 years old earlier this month, Robert Kraft is a relative newcomer to this list.
He purchased the New England Patriots in 1994, and the franchise has become one of the most recognizable in North American team sports.
Shortly after Kraft bought the team, the Patriots made the Super Bowl in 1996 under Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells.
Kraft may not have known it at the time, but that strategic hire in the mid 1990s would pave the way for decades of success New England would go on to have.
Parcells’ defensive coordinator in 1996 was none other than Bill Belichick, who Kraft would later hire as his head coach ahead of the 2000 season.
All Belichick has done is gone on to win six Super Bowls since the 2001 season, establishing one of the NFL’s most revered dynasties.
— Robert Kraft Ⓜ️ (@robertkraft0) February 7, 2019
1. The Hunt Family
When a trophy for winning the American Football Conference is named after one of your predecessors, it’s hard to exclude a family from a list like this.
The Kansas City Chiefs have won two consecutive AFC Championship Games and have brought the Lamar Hunt trophy back home, named after the franchise’s legendary owner.
Even before Patrick Mahomes pointed Kansas City’s trajectory to the moon, the Chiefs have always been one of the more relevant teams in the league.
— Clark Hunt (@ClarkHuntChiefs) January 9, 2019
Although they struggled to get over the hump, they were perennially in the mix during the Marty Schottenheimer days from 1989-1998.
Arrowhead Stadium is also continuously sold out year after year, and the Hunt family has done a great job endearing themselves to a rabid fanbase.