Some young veteran quarterbacks may be ready to make the leap to the next level of value when it comes to their rookie cards.
Running backs have usually burned out by their early 30s.
Receivers can shine a little longer, but touch the ball only a few times each game.
Quarterback remains the glamour position in the National Football League and it's where much of the rookie card values lie. While prospecting can land pretty good returns on an investment, there are few secrets about which rookies might have a chance for a long career. It's best to let players stand on their own for a couple of years before plunking down your collecting dollars. This year, five quarterbacks could be poised to establish themselves even more as outstanding players with lasting value.
All of these guys have become part of the multi-set era, which can make it confusing when deciding which rookie cards to buy. Safe to say, the market seems to indicate that you can't get around buying the autographed versions that are in short supply, but can be costly. Still, it's where the rookie card trade is now, and there are opportunities for the smart investor or 'flipper'.
1) Drew Brees, Saints. Brees began his career in San Diego before the trade to New Orleans a couple of seasons ago. He continues to put up superstar-worthy numbers, but playing in smaller markets and not making it to a Super Bowl have hurt his recognition. Brees appeared on several issues in 2001, with collectors favoring SP Authentic, SPx, Playoff Contenders Autograph and Bowman Chrome Autograph.
2) Aaron Rodgers, Packers. After patiently waiting behind Brett Favre, Rodgers is now the unquestioned leader of the Pack. While he sat the bench his rookie cards floundered but now they're poised to jump. In fact, based on last year's individual success, they're already climbing. An SP Authentic three-color autographed patch card just sold on eBay for $1159. A two-color for $475. His Exquisite autographed jersey card brought $300. Here's a guide to Rodgers rookie cards from a site devoted to him.
3) Jay Cutler, Bears. The Bears-Packers rivalry goes up a notch with Cutler's arrival. For once, it would appear as if Chicago has a QB to match Green Bay. Cutler's 2006 debut in Denver was highlighted by his appearance on a slew of different cards. Ultimate Collection, Topps Chrome, Donruss Elite Auto and SPx are among the popular picks. Chicago is a collecting hotbed, waiting for its next star. Cutler could be the guy. A Certified Mirror Emerald Autograph Cutler rookie sold recently for $317.
4) Carson Palmer, Bengals. Palmer's career has been up and down, but when he's healthy, there's little doubt about his talent. This year, he could return to elite status. Palmer first appeared on football cards back in 2003, but his cards have dropped since the injury that kept him out so long. Now might be the time to get into the game. His Playoff Contenders autographed rookie card went for $202 not long ago, with other collectors chasing Bowman Chrome, Finest, SP Authentic and SPx.
5) Tom Brady, Patriots. Missing a full season hasn't damaged Brady's reputation, and all signs are go for him in 2009. His cards didn't drop much in value because of past accomplishments and a heroic return to the Patriots could mean a significant jump as he adds another memorable chapter to his Hall of Fame career. Even his regular appearances in the tabloids haven't harmed his reputation among collectors and fans. Brady's SP Authentic and Playoff Contenders Autograph are among the standouts in a crowded Brady rookie card field. An SPx Spectrum rookie sold for $1900 as the pre-season got underway.