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Sunday NFL Thoughts: NFL’s revenue might have increased $3 billion over two years, Michael Lombardi’s departure, Peyton HGH investigation underway

Business is good for the NFL as they reach new heights!

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1. The Green Bay Packers released their annual financial statements so we can get an idea of the NFL’s health. The Packers have to share the information because they are a publicly-owned team, although the profits gets reinvested back into the franchise instead of dispersed among the shareholders.

For those concerned, the league is doing extremely well. I’ll completely overgeneralize, but there are effectively two streams of revenue: local and national. Local revenue is exactly what it sounds like- sales from tickets, the gift shops, and local broadcasts- while national revenue stems from national broadcast deals and the revenue sharing pool, which redistributes funds from "high revenue clubs" to the rest of the league.

Packers (in mm) 2013 2014 2015
+National revenue 187.7 209.1 222.6
+Local revenue 136.4 168.1 186.2
=Total revenue 324.1 377.2 408.8
-Expenses 298.5 336.3 333.7
=Profits 25.6 40.9 75.1
Projections for the NFL
+NFL National revenue 6,006.4 6,691.2 7,123.2
+NFL Local revenue 4,364.8 5,379.2 5,958.4
=NFL Total revenue 10,371.2 12,070.4 13,081.6

For the Packers, local revenue has risen from $136.4 million in 2013 and $168.1 million in 2014 to $186.2 million in 2015. National revenue increased from $187.7 million in 2013 and $209.1 million in 2014 (the Packers restated their prior year income in their latest report) to $222.6 million in 2015. The total revenue has risen from $324.1 million in 2013 and $377.2 million in 2014 to $408.7 million in 2015.

Based on the totals, we can project the NFL to have seen an increase in national revenue from $6 billion in 2013 to $7.1 billion in 2015. While local revenue differs for each team, the Packers announced they finished 9th in the league in revenue, but that only 1% separated the Pack from the middle of the pack.

A rough-and-dirty calculation shows that the NFL’s revenue across the entire league has risen from $10.4 billion in 2013 and $12.1 billion in 2014 to $13.1 billion in 2015. That’s one heckuva return and it is why Roger Goodell hasn’t been fired.

2. The Globe’s Ben Volin reports that the separation between the Patriots and former staff assistant Michael Lombardi "wasn’t so mutual" and that Lombardi would have enjoyed staying with the Patriots. One of the key reasons the Patriots were able to retain Lombardi for the past two seasons was that front office contracts are guaranteed and the Browns were still on the hook for the final two years of his deal.

Now that the time is up, the Patriots would have had to pay extra for Lombardi to stick around and it just wasn’t in the budget. I wouldn’t read into this as being an ugly break-up; just simply a matter of not exceeding finances allotted to the staff. I’m sure Lombardi understands.

3. Speaking of finances, Broncos QB Mark Sanchez was swindled out of $7.8 million due to a fraudulent financial adviser. Apparently the NFLPA certified the financial adviser, which is why Sanchez reasonably trusted him, so this is a total screw-up on the NFLPA’s part.

Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe chimed in that the NFLPA was using the certification process "as a moneymaking scheme." If true, shame on the NFLPA. That’s an absurd abuse of trust. Let’s hope that Sanchez can find a way to get back his lost funds.

4. The NFL is finally moving forward with interviews against those called out in the Al Jazeera America (AJAM) report on HGH, per USA Today. Packers pass rushers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers and Steelers pass rusher James Harrison are scheduled to be interviewed as soon as camps open in July according to a letter sent from the NFL to the NFLPA. The NFL did not include retired QB Peyton Manning in their letter, but USA Today reports that the investigation into Manning "is progressing."

The NFLPA is saying that since Charlie Sly, the source at the heart of the AJAM report, recanted his testimony that the NFL has no grounds for this investigation. The NFLPA also says that it requested evidence that would support cause for investigation.

I know there’s been a collective sharpening of pitchforks in New England about the lack of outrage and coverage of Manning’s connection to HGH and it’s frustrating. There’s zero actual evidence that QB Tom Brady did anything wrong and he’s currently suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season. The league raked him through the coals because they couldn’t afford to be wrong.

I haven’t met a Patriots fan that genuinely cares whether or not Peyton took HGH to get back on the field. But the fact that Goodell likened the charges against Brady to performance enhancing drugs should have increased the stakes once the allegations came out against Manning. This sort of coverage- or lack thereof- just adds fuel to the notion that there are two sets of rules: one for the Patriots and one for everyone else.