They had enjoyed only three winning seasons since the start of the new millennium and hadn’t tasted an AFC East championship since 1995. Drafting a good quarterback doesn’t always solve such problems but the Buffalo Bills may have finally found someone who can be part of the solution. With believers among fans and collectors and a team that may be poised to take another step forward, Josh Allen rookie cards are worth watching.
Farm Boy Finds His Way
Allen grew up on a cotton farm west of Fresno, CA. He was hardly one of those five-star prospects who had recruiters beating a path to Central California. An athlete who enjoyed all sports, he had just one offer coming out of high school.
After a year of junior college, Allen still wasn’t in high demand but the University of Wyoming saw something in him and promised to make him the face of the program. Allen took the offer after being rebuffed again by Fresno State, his favorite school. In two years as the Cowboys starter, he led them to a Mountain West Conference title and a pair of bowl games.
The Buffalo Bills traded with Tampa Bay to acquire the seventh pick in the 2018 draft, making it clear he was the future of the franchise. Indeed, after just one game, Allen became Buffalo’s starting quarterback.
Named a captain in 2019, Allen threw for over 3,000 yards and completed 58 percent of his passes. A dual threat, he accumulated over 1,100 yards rushing and 17 rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons. Although it hasn’t been all smooth sailing, Allen’s strong arm, mobility, mental toughness and leadership were qualities not lost on the team’s coaching staff or opponents.
“I think it’s pretty clear when you watch Josh on TV, whether you know him personally or not, what type of competitor he is,” Bills coach Sean McDermott told reporters during the NFL Combine ahead of the 2020 draft. “At the end of the day, whether you play offense, defense, or you’re a specialist, that’s what all these players want. They want a good guy to be a teammate alongside of when the ball is kicked and who is highly competitive, and Josh has that fire.”
Now, with veteran receiver Stefon Diggs joining the club, Allen will have another weapon as the Bills look to recapture the long-running successes of the Jim Kelly-led teams of the past.
Josh Allen Rookie Card Market
Allen’s rookie cards arrived along with others from a solid draft class that also includes Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Saquon Barkley, among others. While Jackson cards exploded during his 2019 MVP season, the rise of Allen’s rookie cards has been fairly mild so far.
Several fans who believe in his long-term value have made him the focus of their personal collections including one who built quite a rookie card stash.
Like most players in this era, there is a huge variety of Allen rookie cards. From unsigned base cards in cheaper products to high-end autographed cards from products like Panini Flawless and Immaculate, you’ll have plenty of options. As of spring 2020, the highest priced Allen rookie card sold was the 2018 Flawless NFL Shield 1/1 that netted $20,000 for an eBay seller at the end of the ’19 season. His Contenders Super Bowl Ticket 1/1 also sold for a five-figure price.
Panini Contenders is always a popular pick. From standard Rookie Tickets to Championship Tickets, Ticket Stubs, Clear Tickets and others, there are options for collectors at price levels that can vary quite a bit based on collectors’ personal preferences. The standard Rookie Ticket Autographs are heavily traded but some collectors have gravitated to the Cracked Ice parallels numbered to 24 or the Championship Tickets numbered to 25.
Panini’s National Treasures continues to be a popular brand for football rookie card collectors. Allen rookie cards in NT are highlighted by the Rookie Patch Autograph #163 numbered to 99.
Immaculate Rookie Patch Autographs numbered to 99 (and other autographs from the brand) are another desirable option for those willing to spend a little more and they can still be found for a relatively small investment.
Lower Cost Allen Rookies
As of now, at least, there are still some autographed Allen rookie cards selling for under $100. Some are from draft products issued in the spring of 2018, but there are still a few Panini products showing him in his Bills uniform you can snare in that range.
Of course, there are numerous serial numbered memorabilia cards and inserts that can be part of your collection for just a few bucks, but still provide a level of limited availability. Attractive looking cards with a serial number under 200 are usually a pretty good play for collecting a player on a budget while still providing some limited long-term growth if you’re looking at it as an investment.
Base cards will be the cheapest option for those who like the “penny stock” style approach, especially those from popular products like Donruss, Donruss Optic and Prizm (if you’re buying to hold/invest, you might want to focus on graded examples, but it’s not absolutely necessary at this point). Don’t discount base cards from other brands if you’re collecting for fun as they are often more attractive and less expensive. You can see Allen rookie cards for $10 or less here.
Below is an up-to-the minute list of the 50 current most watched Josh Allen rookie card auctions on eBay via the live list below.