ThePit Football 50 is a new valuation index designed to track market changes in the 50 most valuable cards of players currently active. The index debuts here with a valuation of $7.2 million as of 11/2/15 (see details at end of article).
At the beginning of September, it appeared as if Andrew Luck might be ready to snatch the title of NFL’s Greatest Quarterback from Tom Brady. The 38-year-old Brady faced a four-game suspension as a result of the “DeflateGate” controversy, whereas Luck at age 25 was the consensus pick of the media (and fantasy sports fans) as the most complete young QB in the game.
It hasn’t turned out that way at all. Halfway into the 2015 season, Brady (whose suspension was overturned on Sept. 3) leads the NFL with a gaudy 115.8 passer rating, and his Patriots are undefeated. Luck’s Colts, on the other hand, have gone 1-5 in games he has started, and the 2012 #1 overall draft pick is the lowest-rated active qualifying passer in the league.
The reaction of sports collectors to these stunning events has been predictable: they have driven Brady’s card prices up, and they have knocked Luck’s cards down. Brady owns the most valuable card on ThePit Football 50: the 2000 SP Authentic BGS 9.5, with a combined valuation of $602,000 based on a population of 301 and a Pit “Sell Now” price of $2,000. In mid-May, this card traded for $1,550 on ThePit, but it has soared by hundreds of dollars during the season with the most recent transaction at $2,495 — a five-month increase of 61% on ThePit.
Luck’s benchmark card, the 2012 Panini Contenders #201A BGS 9.5 Auto 10, has dropped on average from $1,863 to $1,213 (a 35% decline) in eBay auctions comparing August to early November. We believe this card and all Luck cards have a long way to fall this year even if the Colts make the playoffs. The fact that Luck’s Contenders BGS 9.5/10 (population: 349) was selling for more than Brady’s 2000 Contenders BGS 9/10 (population: 218) made no sense to us in August, and we believe that the values of those two cards will continue to diverge.
Except for Luck (six cards on the list) and Tony Romo (one card), all of the spots on ThePit Football 50 are held by Brady (four Super Bowl wins, 21 cards), Peyton Manning (one SB win, 17 cards), and Aaron Rodgers (one SB win, 5 cards). It’s no surprise that QBs completely dominate this modern list. Collectors of football cards from the 1950s to 1970s remember the glory days of Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Walter Payton and other legendary rushers, but in today’s NFL passing is much more important than rushing. Eleven of the 16 #1 overall draft picks this century have been quarterbacks, and even young QBs quickly become the most recognizable faces of their franchises.
The top 25 cards in ThePit Football 50 are shown in the exhibit below. To see cards 26-50, scroll to the 2nd exhibit at the bottom of the article:
About ThePit Football 50
ThePit Football 50 ranks the 50 most valuable cards of active football players, based on their value in individual grades. Each card’s Total Value is calculated by card price (as represented by ThePit’s guaranteed bid posted online) multiplied by the card’s population in that particular grade (as provided by the current PSA or Beckett population reports, also available online). Cards are then ranked from one to 50 by Total Value, and the overall value of the index is determined by adding together the values of all 50 cards.
ThePit Football 50 will be periodically updated to reflect current market prices, and links to real-time market prices for each card are available at the “Breaking News” link at www.thePit.com. Because ThePit wants the index to be accurate and comprehensive, it is offering a $10 site credit to anyone who can identify a missing card which should be on the list (see rules and details online).