As he inches closer to a major NFL record and what will undoubtedly be a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, the top Drew Brees rookie cards are still active sellers and values are increasing. Popular with teammates and fans and highly respected throughout the game, it’s been a remarkable ride.
“People have doubted him ever since he came out of high school,” NFL media senior analyst Gil Brandt says. It’s “largely because of his height, and he was driven to overcome those doubts and become a truly transcendent quarterback.”
Barring something crazy, Brees will soon become the NFL all time leader in passing yardage. He’ll catch Brett Favre first and stands less than 1,500 yards away from the record. The guy he will pass at the top, Peyton Manning, had nothing but compliments about his former rival. “He deserves it,”Manning said of Brees. “He’s been a great player for a long time.”
Brees led the Saints to their only Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl XLIV, earning MVP honors after going 32 of 39 for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Canton didn’t always look so inevitable. After five solid years with San Diego, Brees had shoulder surgery and was was told he only had a one in four chance of ever coming back to the NFL. “I’m being told by some doctors I’ve got a 25 percent chance of coming back and playing,” Brees said about a painful era in his NFL career. “So that’s – you feel like your dream is being ripped away from you.” Unsure of his future, the Chargers opted to go with Philip Rivers.
The comeback story for Brees was pretty sweet. It took him just three years with the Saints to win the biggest prize in the NFL.
Drew Christopher Brees was born January 15, 1979 in Dallas, Texas. He was a standout quarterback at Westlake High School in Austin, the same school that produced Nick Foles. Brees led Westlake to a 16-0 record and a state title during his senior year in football crazy Texas in 1996.
His great high school career led to a scholarship offer from Purdue, known at one time as the “cradle of quarterbacks.”
Brees shattered records at Purdue and still holds three of the top five individual passing seasons in his conference. His best total was 4,189 passing yards during the 2000 campaign. His 83 attempts (he completed 55) in one game is still a Big Ten record. He was a two time Heisman finalist and led the Boilermakers to the 2000 Rose Bowl.
Despite his incredible college numbers, Brees was still just a second round pick in the 2001 draft. He earned the starting job in 2002 and his NFL career really took off. He earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2004.
The shoulder surgery not long after led to his departure from San Diego. His new home in New Orleans was nothing short of destiny for Brees, who was named the 2008 and 2011 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He will go down as one of the top NFL quarterbacks in his era and in the history of pro football.
“Whenever Brees does retire,” sports writer Sean Wagner-McGough says. “He’ll be quickly ushered into the Hall of Fame as soon as he’s eligible.”
The Top Drew Brees Rookie Cards
So what should you be looking for if you want an elite Drew Brees rookie card? His most popular include the 2001 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph numbered to 500. Despite a sticker autograph, PSA 10 and BGS 9.5 examples have reached $6,000-$7,400 this year. Ungraded or lower grade examples will be less, but prices remain strong. While it’s not often seen on lists of Brees’ top rookie issues, the Topps’ Rookie Premier auto is attractive–and rare–with just 15 registering on grading company reports.
Of course, base cards are going to be cheaper than the low serial numbered parallels that were issued so any list is going to be subject to your own preference–and pocketbook.Not long ago, a PSA 10 2001 SP Authentic Gold was sold for $6,700 on eBay and the Sign of the Times auto has also been a strong seller but most others will cost far less.
The 2001 Crown Royale #150 autograph (# to 250); Pacific #453 autograph (# to 1000), 2001 Upper Deck SP Authentic #101 jersey (# to 800), 2001 Upper Deck SPx (two different versions, both with autographs) and 2001 Upper Deck Ovation autos have also proven to be among the most popular Brees cards.
The good news is fans will find plenty of low cost rookies, too. Cards such as 2001 Upper Deck Vintage #251 or Upper Deck MVP #287 are among the most inexpensive. Many standard base Brees cards from less popular brands can be had for just a buck or two. Not bad for a guy who is destined to be in Canton soon after he finishes a spectacular career.
You can check out the 50 most watched Drew Brees rookie cards via the live list below.