Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season is in the books, and the inaugural games provided plenty of drama. Brady and the Bucs blew out the Cowboys, the Saints squeaked out a one-point nail-biter over the Falcons. There were a few stunning comebacks and a handful unfortunate injuries.
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One team that always wins, however, is the NFL’s merchandising division — and one fact of life that never changes no matter the season is that the league’s biggest stars sell the most swag.
To find out which NFL stars convince fans to dig the deepest for pricey league-branded gear, GOBankingRates used the preseason merchandise sales report from the NFL Players Association. The NFLPA produces the only verified ranking for all officially licensed player-specific NFL merchandise. It includes not just apparel like jerseys and hoodies, but figurines, decals, squishy toys, plush toys, puzzles, holiday ornaments, trains, coins, pet accessories, backpacks, pennants, drinkware and much, much more. Basically, if you can think of it, the NFL has slapped your favorite player’s name and number on it and given it a price tag. Here’s a look at this year’s hottest sellers.
Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald just missed the top 10 in the NFLPA’s year-end list at the close of the 2021 season, but it was clear that his merchandise sales were moving in the right direction. He jumped 23 spots from No. 37 to No. 14 between last year’s preseason and the time of the end-of-year rankings. His star continued to rise in 2022, and now he’s broken into not only the top 10, but the top five moving into the current season.
His biggest seller is Fanatics brand jerseys. He joins the likes of stars Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson as one of the five biggest sellers in that category.
If you’re a fan of bobbleheads, the NFL shop has a FOCO Super Bowl LVI Champions eight-inch Aaron Donald for $49.99. If you prefer merch that you can wear on game day, an Aaron Donald Nike white alternate Vapor limited jersey goes for $159.99.
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Bengals QB Joe Burrow remains exactly where he was at the close of the 2021 season when the NFLPA released its year-end list — in the No. 4 spot. He’s among the top five sellers for collegiate GameTime Sidekick — Burrow went to LSU — as well as the top five for rugs, pool cues and game chairs from a new licensee called Imperial International.
A framed 15″x17″ Joe Burrow 2022 Wildcard win collage is selling in the NFL Shop for $49.99. An all-weather Joe Burrow cornhole bag set will run you $56.99
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp jumped 26 spots from the NFLPA year-end list after the 2021 season into the top three at the start of 2022. The star’s ever-growing popularity has gained him one of the best-selling Fanatics brand jerseys and he’s also cleaning up in memorabilia sales.
You can land Cooper Kupp Rock ‘Em crew socks emblazoned with the receiver’s face for $21.99 in the NFL shop. If you want something a little heavier than a novelty, an autographed Rams Super Bowl LVI Champion helmet is selling for $799.99.
Russell Wilson — who was consistently in the top five from 2014-18 — didn’t even make the top 10 in the NFLPA 2021 year-end list. But he launched 24 spots to No. 2 thanks to his move from Seattle to Denver — and that’s part of a larger trend. The quarterback is one of eight players who enjoyed big gains in merch sales after entering free agency or a new market.
He has the most popular Fanatics brand jersey and the most popular BreakingT t-shirt.
The NFL Shop is selling Wilson’s Nike game jerseys — both women’s and men’s — for $129.99. A Wilson-autographed Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII football was recently marked down from $649.99 to $422.99, and they’re selling fast with only a few left in stock.
At the tender age of 45, Tom Brady is starting what will almost certainly be his last year on the gridiron — and the GOAT’s dominance in merchandising nearly matches his dominance on the field. The Bucs QB landed the top spot on the NFLPA list for the fifth straight quarter.
He crushed it in sales of drinkware, jerseys, figurines, squishy toys, slide sandals, framed memorabilia and Imperial International rugs, pool cues and game chairs, landing in the top five in all those categories.
A Brady-autographed New England Patriots Fanatics Riddell 1982-1989 Throwback helmet is going for $2,699.99 in the NFL shop — but don’t worry. Shipping is free. If that’s a little too rich for your blood, a signature cue ball will only set you back $32.99
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All salary data is from Spotrac, and all merchandise prices are from NFLShop.com unless otherwise noted.