A List of the 49 NFL Teams That Folded

Published on September 7th, 2022 2:58 am EST
Written By: Dave Manuel



National Football League extinct franchises.  There are 49 of them. Given the absurd amount of money that NFL teams make, the idea of a franchise folding in this day and age seems impossible to consider.

Over the history of the league, however, 49 NFL franchises have folded.

The last time to fold? Surprisingly, the Dallas Texans, who folded in 1952 after just one season.

It seems crazy to think that a team in Dallas couldn't make it, given the current popularity of the Dallas Cowboys, but the 1950s were a different time in Texas. High school and college football ruled, while professional football wasn't nearly as popular.

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The Evansville Crimson-Giants.

The Rochester Jeffersons.

The Tonawanda Kardex.

These were just some of the 49 NFL franchises that folded over the years.

The vast majority of the NFL franchises that folded did so in the earliest years of the league.

Of the original 12 NFL franchises, only two - the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals - survived, though both were known as different names back then.

Two teams - the Chicago Tigers and Detroit Heralds - only lasted one season when the league started in 1920.

In 1921, 7 teams - the Cincinnati Celts, Cleveland Tigers/Indians, Detroit Tigers, Muncie Flyers, New York Giants, Tonawanda Kardex and Washington Senators - folded due to financial issues.

The earliest days of the NFL were a complete mess. Teams created their own schedules as the year went on, which resulted in teams playing an uneven number of games.

Many of the earliest teams failed, and it wasn't until the 1950s that the league started to find its financial footing.

In the 1950s, three teams - the Baltimore Colts, New York Bulldogs/Yanks and Dallas Texans - folded. Those would be the last NFL teams to ever fold.

Teams have moved since then, but folding due to financial issues - that would never happen in this day and age.

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Here are the 49 NFL teams that folded, along with the years in which they folded:

Chicago Tigers, 1920
Detroit Heralds, 1920
Cincinnati Celts, 1921
Cleveland Tigers/Indians, 1921
Detroit Tigers, 1921
Muncie Flyers, 1921
New York Giants, 1921
Tonawanda Kardex, 1921
Washington Senators, 1921
Evansville Crimson-Giants, 1922
Oorang Indians, 1923
St. Louis All-Stars, 1923
Toledo Maroons, 1923
Kenosha Maroons, 1924
Rochester Jeffersons, 1925
Rock Island Independents, 1925
Akron Pros/Indians, 1926
Brooklyn Lions, 1926
Canton Bulldogs, 1926
Columbus Panhandles/Tigers, 1926
Detroit Panthers, 1926
Hammond Pros, 1926
Hartford Blues, 1926
Kansas City Blues/Cowboys, 1926
Los Angeles Buccaneers, 1926
Louisville Brecks/Colonels, 1926
Milwaukee Badgers, 1926
Racine Legion/Tornadoes, 1926
Cleveland Indians/Bulldogs, 1927
Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos, 1927
Detroit Wolverines, 1928
New York Yankees, 1928
Buffalo All-Americans/Bison/Rangers, 1929
Dayton Triangles, 1929
Pottsville Maroons/Boston Bulldogs, 1929
Minneapolis Marines/Red Jackets, 1930
Orange/Newark Tornadoes, 1930
Cleveland Indians, 1931
Frankford Yellow Jackets, 1931
Providence Steam Roller, 1931
Staten Island Stapletons/Stapes, 1932
Cincinnati Reds, 1934
St. Louis Gunners, 1934
Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers, 1944
Boston Yanks, 1948
Baltimore Colts, 1950
New York Bulldogs/Yanks, 1951
Dallas Texans, 1952

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