While he rarely speaks publicly, Paul Allen is making a strong case to lay claim to the title of "best owner in NFL." (AP)
By Josh Kerns
Seahawks owner Paul Allen is still the richest NFL boss in the league. And a strong case is being made he's also the best.
"Sure, money can't buy wins in the NFL with every team having rules with respect to the salary cap, but he is a man who has proven that he will spend a little more, whereas some other owners in the league do what they can do to spend a little less," argues Bob Kaupang, the Seahawks reporter for RantSports.com.
It's tough to argue Allen hasn't done everything possible to give GM John Schneider and Head Coach Pete Carroll what they need to win a Super Bowl.
Allen gave the go ahead to sign free agent receiver Percy Harvin to a whopping six-year, $67 million deal, then just days later opened his wallet again for defensive end Cliff Avril's two-year, $13 million deal, then anted up to sign defensive end Michael Bennett to a one-year, $5 million deal.
It's chump change considering Allen's net worth is north of $15 billion, according to Forbes. That makes him far and away the wealthiest NFL owner. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is next on the list with a $5 billion net worth, followed by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer, both with a reported net worth of $4.4 billion.
But it's not just about coughing up for contracts. Kaupang credits Allen with investing in world class facilities, including the $60 million Virginia Mason Athletic Center on the shores of Lake Washington, considered the best practice facility and headquarters in the NFL.
He also credits Allen with letting Schneider, Carroll and their staffs do their jobs without his interference, and staying out of the spotlight (unlike other owners like Dallas' Jerry Jones.)
"Some owners want to be involved in the day-to-day operations. They have every right to do this, since they own the team, but the people who have been hired to do a specific job tend to do much better when they are supported, yet left to do that very job to the best of their abilities. Allen gives this support to his workers." Kaupang wrote.
Most important for die hard fans including Kaupang? The fact Allen stepped up and bought the team in 1997 when former owner Ken Behring was set to move the Seahawks to Southern California (even having the moving trucks parked in front of team headquarters in Kirkland.)
"The Seahawks have many important pieces already in place to make a strong playoff push next season. Hopefully for Seahawk fans, it will be the year that Paul Allen will be able to accept his overdue Lombardi Trophy," he writes.
And with $15 billion in the bank, he should be able to afford a pretty nice case to display it.