As the NFL Draft and offseason maneuvering proves, there’s no real off-season in the NFL. There isn’t one when it comes to football cards, either. That’s why we can open a box of new product in May.
2022 Panini Contenders Optic Football arrived and with only six cards inside, it’s as perfect fit for our ongoing Brief Box Break series.
The box artwork features two San Francisco 49ers– tight end George Kittle and rookie sensation quarterback Brock Purdy. Needless to say, it’s Purdy’s first appearance as as cover boy.
Boxes feature two autographs (on stickers) and a wide range of other base, parallels and insert sets.
Basically, it’s a Chrome (now Optic) version of the standard Contenders football product.
We ripped the seal on our yellow box, grabbed our one black pack and commenced to revealing the contents.
The first card we saw was a base card of workhorse running back David Montgomery, who is pictured with the Bears but has since landed with the Lions.
Our second card, interestingly enough, was a base rookie of former Penn State standout wideout and current Washington Comanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson. No serial number, no auto, just a nice, clean base rookie card, apparently.
Next up was a sharp looking die-cut X’s & O’s insert card of legendary Denver Broncos QB John Elway. These have an interesting design with a team helmet background, hovering over a play drawn up on a chalkboard underneath and, in this case, Elway in the foreground as he gets ready to fire a rocket to one of his receivers.
A nice Brandin Cooks gold parallel numbered to ten was the next card we found.
There is certainly value if you pull a gold one a popular rookie or major star with only ten copies produced.
Our first autograph was a catchy orange Rookie Ticket of Los Angeles Rams RB Kyren Williams, numbered 41/50.
The Notre Dame product played minimally this year, carrying the ball just 35 times for just a tick over 100 total yards… and he didn’t find the end once at any point this season. There’s always next season.
Our final card and our final autograph saved the box: a Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson auto numbered out of 50. In this case, it’s not just the name of a subset as the New York Jets wide receiver did indeed win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Although just hitting the market, this blue version looks to be worth in the neighborhood of $150-$175.
These six card boxes sell are available for $260-$300 on eBay.
It could have been better overall, of course, but the fact that we received all skill position players and a couple of lower serial numbered cards made us feel OK . I’m guessing it’s a very careful packout to ensure that there’s at least one respectable autograph in each box. Although we didn’t land any big money rookie autos, this was still a pretty enjoyable and, yes, brief break.