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New England Patriots Best Team in Sports at Managing Payroll

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The Patriots have yielded the best bang for their salary cap buck since the turn of the century.

Not a smile ... just gas.
Not a smile ... just gas.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots might as well change their name to the Boston Accountants because no franchise in American sports has done a better job of managing the salary cap to yield returns on their respective field.

Nerd Wallet evaluated Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association to determine which teams best converted salary cap spending into wins and championships since 2000. The top three: the NFL's Patriots, the NBA's Spurs, and the MLB's Marlins.

The Patriots scored a 2.06 on their metric, implying that Bill Belichick and the Patriots have been twice as efficient as the average sports team in turning money into wins. The Spurs came in at 1.86, and the Marlins at 1.69. The Patriots haven't just dominated football, they kick the behinds of teams in other leagues, too.

There are 92 teams across the three sports included in this research. The Celtics ranked 33rd (fitting!) while the Red Sox came in 67th. Sorry, Bruins.

The top five teams in football are the Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Ravens, and Packers, which is exactly as you would expect. The Giants, Seahawks, Eagles, Broncos, and Saints fill out the top ten, which is also exactly as you would expect. The Chargers, always the bridesmaid, rank 11th.

The methodology is far from perfect- teams only get win bonuses for winning the championship, but losing in the playoffs yields no additional return- but the point stands. Belichick and the Patriots know what they're doing with the salary cap. They're the best in the business.