After defeating the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos are officially world champions. For many, the anointing of Peyton Manning and company as the NFL‘s best not only signifies the end of the 2015 season, but it also marks the time to turn one’s attention to the upcoming 2016 NFL draft. However, the problem with that sort of thinking is that it doesn’t allow us the proper amount of time to pay our respect to those other all-important champions of the league; the ones who dominated the jersey sales.
We all know that the NFL brings in plenty of dough from its merchandise sales. And of course, a big chunk of that change comes from the sale of player jerseys. Now, thanks to the release of the most recent rankings from NFLShop.com, we know which individuals have the best-selling jerseys of the bunch. Therefore, based on the info collected from April 1, 2015 to January 30, 2016, here’s a look at the five highest-selling player jerseys in the NFL.
5. Peyton Manning, quarterback, Denver Broncos
From a statistical standpoint, the 2015 season was not your average Peyton Manning year. Despite going 7-2 during the regular season, the Sheriff finished with 2,249 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and a whopping 17 interceptions. Of course, as we all know, it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. And the future Hall of Fame quarterback completed the season by winning the second Lombardi Trophy of his career and having the No. 5 highest-selling jersey in all of football.
4. Rob Gronkowski, tight end, New England Patriots
As we’ve come to expect from Rob Gronkowski, in 2015, the best tight end in the game was as entertaining on the field as his personality was off of it. In 15 games, the Gronk had 72 receptions, 1,176 receiving yards, and 11 touchdown catches. While New England failed to repeat as world champions, thus falling short of the team’s ultimate goal, No. 87 never disappointed. Unless, of course, you’re not a fan of impromptu lap dances. Either way, through heavy jersey sales, the people have spoken. And they seem to wholeheartedly support Gronkowski.
3. Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver, New York Giants
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. may have hurt his image after being suspended for his unsportsmanlike behavior during the team’s 38-35 loss to Carolina, but that doesn’t change the fact that, in just two short seasons, he has become one of the most electrifying players in the entire NFL. In 2015, Beckham had 96 receptions, 1,450 receiving yards, and 13 touchdown catches, while being named to his second Pro Bowl. With numbers like these, is it any wonder that folks want to sport the Giants’ No. 13 jersey? We think not.
2. Cam Newton, quarterback, Carolina Panthers
While Cam Newton’s 2015 campaign ended in disappointment, the newly-crowned MVP still had a remarkable season. The Man of Steel threw for 3,837 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions, while adding 636 yards on the ground and another 10 rushing scores. For the immediate future, we expect folks to fixate on Newton’s abrupt departure from his post-Super Bowl press conference. However, we choose to focus on the superstar player who gave touchdown footballs to kids, brought the “dab” into the national spotlight, and won us over with his infectious smile. For those reasons, and much more, it does not surprise us that Newton had the second highest-selling jersey in the NFL.
1. Tom Brady, quarterback, New England Patriots
As far as NFL player jersey sales are concerned, this is Tom Brady’s world, and we’re all just living in it. Brady held this spot through the first two weeks of the 2015 season, and he proceeded to expand his reach all the way to Europe. In a year that saw the New England quarterback throw for 4,770 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, while dealing with the fallout from Deflategate, the people clearly never turned their backs on one of the greatest to ever play the game. How do we know this? By all the folks rocking the No. 12 Pats jersey.
Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.