Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Kansas City Chiefs signal-caller Patrick Mahomes may have led their teams to Super Bowl LV in February, but Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are coming into the fall as a popular pick for NFL MVP and Super Bowl LVI champion respectively.
One area that Allen already has the last two Super Bowl MVPs beat though is jersey sales.
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Notably, this is a top-five list exclusively for jerseys sold through Fanatics, and there are obviously countless other avenues where football die-hards can get their merchandise, but Fanatics is billed as the “world’s largest collection of official fan gear from all the leagues, teams & players you love”, so that’s got to mean something. Additionally, it’s interesting to hypothesize where New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones would have ranked on the list – if at all – before August 1, which was when he was still in a fight for the starting quarterback gig.
Chicago Bears rookie Justin Fields apparently didn’t have to worry about his current status as the team’s backup under center to crack the top-five.
Which Other NFL Players Are in the Top-5 for Jersey Sales?
Following Allen’s No. 1 ranking, the remainder of the top-five alternates between rookies and established pros.
With Jones having yet to even take a regular season game snap, it proves just how passionate the New England fan base is. Despite the down 2020 season where the Pats finished 7-9, snapping their stunning streak of 11 consecutive postseason appearances, fans in the northeast are clearly behind the former Alabama quarterback.
TB12 was perhaps as clutch as ever during last winter’s Bucs’ playoff run and somehow, the 44-year-old doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Brady is probably the least shocking of the five members on the top jersey sales list.
Fields meanwhile might be the most shocking name to see in the top-five, not only because he hasn’t been named the Bears starter yet, but because of Chicago’s brutal run of mediocrity, or even poor play, since the mid-1990s. In the last 26 years, the Bears have only made the playoffs six times and have not had an elite quarterback in quite some time, running through the likes of Kyle Orton, Rex Grossman, Jay Cutler and most recently, Mitchell Trubisky.
If Brady is the least surprising top-jersey seller, then Mahomes comes right after him. All the former Texas Tech quarterback has done over his first four seasons (he only played one game in 2017) is play in two Super Bowls – winning the title and MVP in one of them – earn three Pro Bowl and one first-team All-Pro nods and capture the 2018 NFL MVP.
Brady may be the G.O.A.T, but Mahomes is typically thought of has the best player in the league today.
Who Was on the List Last September?
Nearly one year ago, as he was starting his first season in Tampa Bay, Brady was No. 1 on the Fanatics jersey sales countdown, while Mahomes was up at No. 3, coming off of his Super Bowl LIV victory.
Aside from that, the list was filled with new faces and Allen was nowhere to be found.
Slotting in at second was the recently-cut Cam Newton. In early September 2020, Newton was in a similar situation as Jones is now, beginning his first season as the Patriots starting quarterback, but obviously not as a rookie.
The fourth and fifth representatives from 2020 are certainly capable of reclaiming spots in the top-five eventually, as both are still under 25 years old and were racking up big-time accolades as recently as 2019.
Fresh off his 2019 MVP campaign, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson had the fourth-highest NFL jersey sales numbers through Fanatics last September. His numbers dropped significantly in 2020, but he still went 11-4 and led his team to the playoffs, while throwing for 26 touchdowns and rushing for 12 more, while collecting 1,005 yards on the ground.
Similar to Jackson, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa made the list following a dominant 2019 season which saw him garner multiple awards. Behind his 47 tackles and nine sacks, Bosa was named the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl, before being limited to just two games during the 2020 season.