If you’ve ever waited on an autograph from a player who didn’t return his signed cards in time for inclusion into a product, you can sympathize with collectors who pulled a Julio Jones autograph from one of several Panini America products back in 2011.
Jones has finally gotten around to signing those cards from his rookie season—FIVE YEARS after they were produced.
Panini says Jones simply “stopped signing” for them during his rookie year and despite repeated phone calls to his business managers and the NFL Players Association, they couldn’t get him to sit down long enough to scribble his name. Some collectors gave up hope and opted to trade their redemption cards for other players who had signed. This month, the Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver finally signed and returned his autographed trading cards to the company.
Jones was part of a loaded rookie class that also included Cam Newton, Von Miller, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, J.J. Watt, Mark Ingram and Tyrod Taylor. Getting those guys to sign was a piece of cake but Jones kept collectors waiting.
Panini didn’t indicate whether Jones was asking for more money or why he ended his moratorium but did say he knocked out everything the company had promised buyers back in 2011: Contenders, National Treasures, Limited, Totally Certified, Playbook, Plates & Patches and Prime Signatures.
Panini will now begin filling those long-awaited redemptions, many of which were originally pulled before the last presidential election.