The first quarter of the NFL business year has came to a close and the top 50 in players merchandise sales number have been released by the NFL Players Association. This is a business quarter that ran from Marc 1 all the way through May 31. Merchandise includes any form of NFL officially licensed gear, including but not limited to: Fathead, Funko, and even pet apparel.
Locally, two members of the Detroit Lions cracked the list of top 50 players. Quarterback Matthew Stafford checks in at No. 15, while his favorite target, wide receiver Golden Tate is slotted at No. 33. A good showing for Tate and Stafford, but it is safe to wonder if the addition of the new uniforms and the introduction to the throwbacks along with the Color Rush uniforms inflated those numbers a bit.
As far as teams in the NFC North teams, both the Lions and Minnesota Vikings each had two representatives in the top 50, one short of the three courtesy of the Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers checks in at No. 7, highest among players in the division.
Running back Jordan Howard is the lone player from the Chicago Bears on the list, he’s slotted at No. 46.
Tom Brady once again topped the list. This marks the fourth time in the last 13 business quarters that the former Michigan quarterback has ranked No. 1 in merchandise sales. Brady has never been outside of the top 3 during that same time period.
Elsewhere on the top ten of top merchandisers is a quartet of Dallas Cowboys players: running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott rank No. 2 and 3 respectively after putting together impressive rookie campaigns in 2016. Their teammates, wide receiver Dez Bryant (No. 6 and tight end Jason Whitten (No. 10), also sit high on the list.
Surprisingly, unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the top 50 list. He comes in at No. 39, despite not even sniffing an NFL contract this offseason.