The Eagles backup quarterback topped the Eagles starting quarterback in the NFLPA’s first Top 50 Player Sales list for the upcoming season. The list is the only verified ranking of all officially licensed NFL player-branded merchandise sold by over 70 NFLPA licensees.
The numbers account for sales in the first quarter from March 1 through May 31 and includes other products besides jerseys.
There are differences between the two levels, of course. We wrote last summer on the explosion of the read-option, and how it had settled to maturity as an NFL concept. It can be a very powerful club in your bag—it just can’t be the only club in your bag. The same goes for the RPO game and other concepts long derided as college. They can be very effective pieces of what you do, but not all you are.
That said, the trend to learn and implement from the college game is only growing, based on the guest list that Oklahoma and other schools boasted this spring. It makes sense, too, in that this is where the NFL gets its players from and, as a result, plenty of them have experience with these schemes going into the pros. And Riley, for now at least, happens to be at the forefront of all of it.
Lots of space, Fitzgerald responds, to torture us.
I get this question every so often, so I figured this was a good place to answer it. My feeling is the only way the NFL expands (it hasn’t since 2002) is if it’s part of an effort to put teams in other countries. The reason boils down to simple math. The financial pie is already cut 32 ways, and I don’t think there’s any burning desire to split it more ways without some huge benefit on the back end.
With Los Angeles taken care of, I don’t think there’s a U.S. market without a team that offers the kind of growth potential to make expansion appealing for the other owners. Being able to take the game global, on the other hand, could.
I love the infrastructure in place there now, from where ownership is at to the GM to the head coach to the quarterback, and that’s a great place to start. The Niners should feel good about building behind John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, and building around Jimmy Garoppolo.
That said, I don’t know that the talent is in place quite yet. The offense is closer, but still needs to get more explosive at the skill spots. And on defense, there’s work to do across the board—being able to keep Rueben Foster on the field would be a good place to start. The Niners will be competitive, and could even sneak in the playoffs, but I think they’re a year or two away from being capable of going deep into January.