Peyton Manning may not be playing in the Super Bowl, but he has taken back his title as top player for merchandise sold during the sales period from Sept. 1 – Nov. 30, 2014. Manning beat out quarterback Russell Wilson, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, wide receiver Dez Bryant and quarterback Tom Brady, who round out the top five.
Wilson has been the leader the prior sales periods, but lost ground to Manning this past quarter. This may be the last chance for fans to purchase Manning merchandise while he is still active, as his future is uncertain.
It is no surprise that Johnny Manziel led all rookies during this sales period (at No. 14 overall), but Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota’s rookie quarterback, wasn’t far behind (at No. 21 overall). J.J. Watt was the highest ranked defensive player at seven.
The NFC champion Seattle Seahawks have five jerseys in the top 50 (Wilson, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Earl Thomas III and Kam Chancellor), while the AFC champion New England Patriots only have two players in the top 50 (Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski).
It will be interesting to see if the long playoff runs by New England and Seattle, along with the rumors of Manning’s retirement change the numbers next quarter.
The NFLPI rankings include all products sold by 80-plus NFLPI licensees online and via traditional retail outlets September-November 2014.
Michael Colangelo is Assistant Director at the USC Sports Business Institute and Senior Editor of The Fields of Green.