New quarterly report to rank trading card industry’s top-performing NFL rookies and veterans based on secondary-market transactions, trading volume and other key factors    

IRVING, Texas (April 13,2016) – Panini America, the exclusive trading card manufacturer of the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA), in conjunction with NFL Players Inc., the licensing and marketing arm of the NFLPA, today unveiled the inaugural edition of the NFLPA Trading Card Index, a new quarterly report which will rank the top-performing football players in the licensed trading card industry.

Once a quarter, the NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index will rank the top 15 rookies and top 15 veterans based on several key factors, including secondary-market transactions, overall trading volume and collectability based on on-field performance and expectations (e.g., Rookie hype and collector speculation). The premiere NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index, listed in its entirety below, includes the first official rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft class based largely on early trading activity surrounding Panini America’s 2016 collegiate product Contenders Draft Picks Football, which was  released on March 23.

Top quarterback prospects Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) and Jared Goff (California), along with key running backs Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State) and Derrick Henry (Alabama) claim the top four spots on the rookie index. Meanwhile, the veteran index (which includes 2015 rookies) sees seven of its top 10 slots occupied by quarterbacks as Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans), Tom Brady (New England Patriots) and Peyton Manning hold the top three spots.

QUOTE FROM MARCUS MARIOTA: “It’s an honor any time I can be number one on a list that includes Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. The work I put in with Panini signing cards in my rookie year seems to be appreciated by collectors as I head into season two, which is extremely rewarding. It will be great if I can keep showing up on this Index for a long time.”

QUOTE FROM CARSON WENTZ: “Wow, it is pretty incredible to see my name at the top of Panini’s new trading card index before I have even joined an NFL team. I really appreciate the fans and collectors who are showing support and faith in my abilities to perform as an NFL player. I look forward to working with Panini to create more trading cards and to earn my place on this list.”

“The premiere NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index comes at the perfect time,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America’s Vice President of Marketing. “The rookie list reflects the level of excitement and speculation fans and collectors have for the key players in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. Conversely, the veteran list offers something of a recap of the 2015 NFL season based on trading-card performance and is driven by last season’s most impressive rookies and veteran superstars.”

Some key sales driving the final rankings include a one-of-a-kind 2015 National Treasures Football Marcus Mariota NFL Shield autograph card that sold for $9,999, a 2000 Contenders Football Tom Brady autographed Rookie Card that sold for $7,900 and a 1998 Contenders Football Peyton Manning autographed Rookie Card that sold for $6,819.   

“The new NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index is an excellent example of the creativity that Panini brings to the trading card market,” said Steve Scebelo, NFLPA Vice President of Licensing & Business Development. “It presents a singularly unique snapshot of players in all stages of their careers who have the ability to drive results on the field and at retail.”

The NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index will also be published in early July (capturing second quarter results following the 2016 NFLPA Rookie Premiere Presented by Panini, and heading into training camp) and early September (capturing third quarter results in a season-kickoff edition).  Fourth quarter results will consist of two special editions in early November and early January to capture mid-season and end-of-season performances, respectively.

The 2016 NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index: Rookies (1Q)

1.     Carson Wentz, North Dakota State

2.     Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

3.     Jared Goff, California

4.     Derrick Henry, Alabama

5.     Joey Bosa, Ohio State

6.     Paxton Lynch, Memphis

7.     Braxton Miller, Ohio State

8.     Connor Cook, Michigan State

9.     Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi

10.  Cardale Jones, Ohio State

11.  Kenyan Drake, Alabama

12.  Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma

13.  Josh Doctson, Texas Christian

14.  Corey Coleman, Baylor

15.  Dak Prescott, Mississippi State

The 2016 NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index: Veterans (1Q)

1.     Marcus Mariota, Tennessee

2.     Tom Brady, New England

3.     Peyton Manning, Denver

4.     Todd Gurley, St. Louis/Los Angeles

5.     Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay

6.     Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

7.     Cam Newton, Carolina

8.     Amari Cooper, Oakland

9.     Andrew Luck, Indianapolis

10.     Russell Wilson, Seattle

11.     Odell Beckham, Jr., New York (NFC)

12.     Devonta Freeman, Atlanta

13.     David Johnson, Arizona

14.     Tyler Lockett, Seattle

15.     Adrian Peterson, Minnesota



The Panini Group, established more than 50 years ago in Modena, Italy, has subsidiaries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States.  Panini is the world leader in officially licensed collectibles and is the most significant publisher of collectibles in the U.S., with exclusive licenses for the NFL, NFLPA, NBA, FIFA, College and licenses with the MLBPA, NHL,NHLPA and Disney, and other key properties from many other licensors. Panini is also the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. Panini has distribution channels in more than 100 countries and employs a staff of over 800. For more information visit us at, or You can also follow Panini America on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.



The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020.



NFL Players Inc. is the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFLPA. NFL Players Inc. has been a trusted resource since 1994, delivering access to the influence, power and personal stories of NFL players. NFL Players Inc. is a “one-stop shop” for businesses seeking licensing rights, access to players through hospitality and events, marketing strategy and player procurement. For more information, please visit


Media Contact:  

Tracy Hackler, Panini America




Tags Licensing Panini player list player marketing Trading Cards Rookies