Foxborough, MA– When long-time Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski announced this past week that he would be retiring after a 19 year NFL career, the decision left quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots as the last player in the league who is still active from the 2000 NFL Draft.
With this fact in mind, one would think that after almost two decades of playing football, including five seasons during which he has been dubbed the greatest of all-time almost unanimously, that anyone who wanted a Brady jersey or any sort of Brady merchandise would already have everything they wanted. And yet, Brady continues to be at the top of the lists for players with the most jerseys sold, as well as top of the list for NFL players with the highest merchandise sales.
According to the annual report released by the NFL Players Association, Brady's personal brand and on-the-field athletic achievements brought him to the top of the sales cycle in 2018 for all players. Of course, it also didn't hurt that Brady again won a Super Bowl this season to bolster his profile even more, as if it was not bolstered enough already. One of the most famous people in the world, the 42-year-old has harnessed the power of NFL merchandising, as well as his own TB12 brand.
Rounding out the rest of the top ten, in order according to the NFLPA, is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack, and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
It's a testament to the perpetual popularity of the quarterback position that seven of the top ten players are quarterbacks, and only one comes from the defense at all. The rest of the league may be praying for Brady's retirement, but here in New England and in the NFL merchandising offices, we want this to go on forever!
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Erik Drost