by Ben Milch
“You’re a goddamn quarterback! You know what that means? It’s the top spot, kid. It’s the guy who takes the fall. It’s the guy everybody’s looking at first – the leader of a team – who will support you when they understand you. Who will break their ribs and their noses and their necks for you, because they believe. ‘Cause you make them believe. That’s a quarterback.” ~Tony D’Amato (Any Given Sunday)
The NFL playoffs are upon us and, just as Tony D’Amato eloquently said in Any Given Sunday, the quarterback is the top spot that makes all the difference between winning and losing. For the teams that have a marquee quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady, those teams have a measurable advantage in reaching the promise land. But in a competition to see which marquee quarterback’s autograph is the most valuable, who comes out on top? SigPrices.com, an online price guide for autographs and sports memorabilia, has the answer:
Certainly, the quarterback with the longest track record is Tom Brady. Brady broke into the NFL in 2000 as a 6th round pick. Over a decade later, Brady has two NFL MVP Awards and three Super Bowl rings. Oh, and he also married a Supermodel! Clearly, Brady seems to have it all. Likewise, any collector who obtains Brady’s autograph feels like a winner. Yet Brady’s autograph can be a bit pricey for the collector. Analyzing the most recent auction data over the last 45 days, an autographed Tom Brady football helmet authenticated by PSA DNA, for example, sold on eBay a little over a month ago for $650.
Although this value is the highest among the active marquee quarterbacks, one should remember that this helmet sold for great value as a similar example sold two years earlier on November 29, 2009 for $815. Waiting could have saved someone about 20%. Meanwhile, a signed jersey by the future Hall of Famer authenticated by PSA DNA sold in December for an average price of $423. Brady is clearly the cream of the crop when it comes to marquee quarterbacks.
Just a shade younger than Brady is Drew Brees. Brees was drafted in 2001 by the San Diego Charges as their “quarterback of the future.” After five inconsistent seasons, Brees signed with New Orleans as a free agent in 2006. From there, his career took off, culminating with a 2009 Super Bowl Championship and then setting the single year passing mark this season.
While Brees is certainly among the game’s marquee quarterbacks, his autograph value does not measure up to Brady’s. For example, a Drew Brees autographed football helmet authenticated by PSA DNA could be purchased for less than $300, like the one that sold on eBay December 27 for $279. This was great value as a similar example sold early in the 2010 season for $399. That is a savings of 30%! Meanwhile, Brees signed jerseys are not as valuable. A Drew Brees signed jersey authenticated by PSA DNA just sold January 1 for just $209 and another sold for just $185 on December 3–less than half of what some paid for Brady. Clearly, Brees autographed items can be found at great value as compared to Brady.
Finally, there is last year’s Super Bowl MVP, Aaron Rodgers. Coming out of Pleasant Valley High in Chico, Calif., Rodgers actually did not even receive a college scholarship from a Division I school. He played one year at Butte Community College and then transferred to University of California. After two seasons at Cal, Rodgers was drafted by the Packers as the #24 overall pick.
Incredibly, nearly all the NFL teams passed on Rodgers, but these days collectors never pass on the chance to get his autograph. A Rodgers signed football helmet authenticated by PSA DNA sold for as high as $395 on eBay last week. That’s about 40% less that Brady’s, but 30% more than Brees. Meanwhile, a signed Rodgers jersey authenticated by PSA DNA, brought $293 just a few days later. While Rodgers has not yet reached Brady’s elite autograph status, he has already passed Brees and another Super Bowl championship may help lead Rodgers to the top.
Ben Milch is an analyst with Sigprices.com, an online price guide for sports autographs and memorabilia.