As we prepare for the 2016 NFL season, let us take a look at everyone’s favorite topic: NFL Jerseys. NFLShop.com has their Top 25 jersey sales from the offseason (4/1 – 6/30) posted here along with a map showing who has the highest selling jersey in each state at the bottom of the list. If you want analysis on each of the top 25 selling jerseys with a touch of my own biases, you have come to the right spot. Let’s get started!
- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys – As much as it pains me to say it, this isn’t that big of a surprise. Elliott was going to be popular with fans no matter who drafted him, but when Dallas took him fourth overall, he was a lock to shoot up the jersey sales chart. Too bad for Dallas that Zeke doesn’t play defense or come with special powers that can keep Tony Romo’s collarbone intact. (Note: My editor made me use a picture of Elliott for this article. It hurts.)
- Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots – When I first saw that Brady was the second highest selling jersey, it did not make much sense to me. What Patriots fan doesn’t already have a Tom Brady jersey? Then I realized this might not be just Patriots fans boosting Brady’s sales, but anti-Goodell fans wanting to stick it to the commissioner for the ridiculousness that was Deflategate. All is well in the United States of Brady.
- Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants – No complaints here, the most popular and best player on a New York team. I expect Beckham will be near the top of this list for the next several years. My H&H colleague Nick Bair recently contributed to this ranking.
- Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers – NFL fans are getting it right so far. This is everything you want in a jersey; an MVP and popular player, currently great team, and the team’s jersey itself is one of the better ones in the league. Cam will stay near the top of this list for the majority of his career.
- Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots – Seriously who does not love Gronk? I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love Gronk and if I ever do I will immediately remove that person from my life. I do have one complaint with New Englanders however, Vermont specifically. How is a Broncos Peyton Manning jersey currently the highest seller in your state? Do better Vermont.
- Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles – If I wasn’t an Eagles fan, I might question this one, but since I am an Eagles fan (however after consulting with my therapist I will not be purchasing this jersey or any other jersey), I have one word for you: Wentzadelphia. The rookie from North Dakota State has the highest selling jersey in Pennsylvania and Delaware, along with North and South Dakota all of which make sense. The head scratcher is that Wentz also has the highest selling jersey in Minnesota. NDSU alumni are obviously not afraid of opening up their checkbook, do better Vikings fans.
- Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers – Another ranking I cannot really argue with. The discount double check is alive and well.
- Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Oakland Raiders – This one shocked me and I love it, Mack is going to be a beast for a long time in this league. Mack also had the highest selling jersey in the state of Nevada, Vegas jumping on the Raiders bandwagon early with possible team relocation on the horizon.
- Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers – Maybe the best receiver in the league on one of the most popular teams in the league, a no brainer.
- Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos – After Miller’s recent big payday and Super Bowl performance, it would appear that he will be rocking the orange and blue for a long time. Solid purchase.
- Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks – I wasn’t sure if all the Ciara noise would hurt Wilson’s jersey sales or not. Just outside the top 10 seems like a good spot.
- Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders – Raider Nation is back!! With Khalil Mack already on this list, Carr coming in at number 12 is another pleasant surprise. I have always loved the Raiders jerseys, they are so simple yet so good looking.
- Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys – Similar to Antonio Brown at #9, one of the best receivers in the league on one of the most popular teams. Another no brainer.
- Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams – I knew Goff would be on this list somewhere. Number one pick in the draft by a team in a new city, it all added up. What is surprising is that he came in ahead of teammate Todd Gurley. I know that Goff went to Cal which is also a factor in this ranking, but come on Los Angeles. If any city would go for the guy who is already a star, it would be you.
- J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans – Watt is the Gronk of defensive players. Except chopping wood on the regular replaces living the ultimate bro lifestyle. But similar to Gronk, who doesn’t love this guy?
- Todd Gurley II, RB, Los Angeles Rams – Gurley is a beast and he should be higher on this list. As I said earlier, come on Los Angeles.
- Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys – Cowboys fans love Witten and rightfully so. The guy is tough as nails and as reliable as they come (one game missed his entire career). The future hall of famer would be a fan favorite on any team. But I am here to say it, Witten should not be on this list. If you are a Cowboys fan how do you not have a Jason Witten jersey already? Who is buying this many Jason Witten jerseys in 2016? The only thing I can think of is Jerry Jones sitting in his office buying a couple dozen of these just so he can have three players in the top 25. You may think that is crazy, but seriously have you heard Jerry speak lately?
- A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals – With all the elite wide receivers in the league right now, I feel like Green gets overlooked at times so I am glad to see he is on this list. The head scratcher here is that Green has the highest selling jersey in the state of Florida. A guy who is from South Carolina, went to the University of Georgia, and plays on a team in Ohio has the highest selling jersey in Florida? Something doesn’t sound right. Step it up Floridians.
- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Eli Manning, QB New York Giants – You can put these two in the same boat. Super Bowl champions from the same draft class who have spent their entire careers with the same franchise and are more than likely headed to Canton when their careers are over. Still solid purchases after all these years.
- Luke Kuechly, MLB, Carolina Panthers – LUUUUKKKEEEE!! This is another spot that I’m really happy with. For the most part I’m really happy with current jersey buying habits of NFL fans. Keep up the good work America.
- Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals – I could use the Jason Witten argument here for Fitzgerald, but if you are Cardinals fan how do you not already have a Larry Fitz jersey? However, I’ll chalk this up to one of the most likeable players in the league on a Super Bowl contending team that is a blast to watch.
- Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins – I like Landry as a player a lot. He is different than a lot of the elite receivers in the league doing the majority of his damage from the slot and in between the numbers. However, I cannot get on board with his jersey being ahead of receivers like Deandre Hopkins, Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas. Please tell me Falcons fans, who else’s jersey are you buying? The Texans and Broncos at least put another player from their team on this list. Do better Atlanta.
- Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints – The brief uncertainty this offseason about Bress’ future with the Saints probably brought his sales down just enough from the Big Ben and Eli pairing at 19 and 20. Same reasoning for their jersey sales applies to Brees however.
- Navorro Bowman, OLB, San Francisco 49ers – You could have given me 500 guesses at who was on this list and I don’t think I would have ever said Bowman’s name. Having said that I am glad to see he made the list. Bowman has bounced back extremely well after a horrific knee injury in the NFC title game against Seattle a few years ago. Solid job Niners fans.
- Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia – I unfortunately purchased this jersey during Foles’ insane 2013 campaign thinking he was the next big thing. This is the last jersey I’ve purchased and Foles is currently a free agent after being cut by the Rams. Do better 2013 me.
Enjoy the season everyone and be wise with your jersey purchases.
Photo Credit: DallasCowboys.com