Tom Brady started the 2016 season on a four-game suspension and finished it with his fifth Super Bowl title. Along the way, his name sold like hotcakes at your local diner as fans clamored to own their own New England Patriots No. 12 jersey.
According to SportsBusiness Daily (h/t Pro Football Focus), Brady led all jersey sales in 2016. He was joined by two of his teammates in the top 15, and not all that surprisingly the Dallas Cowboys featured four of the top 10 — Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.
“The top 15, in order, are Brady, Elliott, Prescott, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, Bryant, Witten, Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack, and Patriots receiver Julian Edelman.”
Interestingly, Brady’s dominance came in part because of his four-game suspension, not in spite of it. Fans were all over his jersey during the preseason and while he served his four-game ban for allegedly taking part in doctoring footballs as part of the Deflategate scandal.
Dallas is always one of the most popular teams, and last year saw the ‘Boys rising to the top of the NFC once again. Rookies Elliott and Prescott not only were new kids on the block, but they also played better than anyone could have expected.
That Beckham Jr. is up there in the top five isn’t surprising, but our eyebrows were raised a bit that Wentz beat out Derek Carr to place No. 5 overall. Which rookies will land among the top 10 in 2017? We can’t wait to find out.