Johnny Manziel has proved one of the most popular players in the NFL, just two months after being drafted by the Cleveland Browns. As the first teams report to training camp for the 2014 season, the quarterback leads all players in jersey sales.
Nflshop.com reports more fans have bought Manziel’s No. 2 jersey from April 1 to July 17 than that of any other NFL star. Manziel’s jersey is selling well even though there's no guarantee that he’ll be Cleveland’s starter. He’ll compete with Brian Hoyer to be the team’s first-string quarterback.
Manziel’s popularity has continued to soar since he won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman with Texas A&M. He’s continued to make headlines this offseason as pictures of him partying circulate across the internet.
Johnny Football isn’t the only rookie whose jersey is selling in the top 10. Perhaps even more improbable is Michael Sam appearing on the list. After being selected in the seventh and final round at 249th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, Sam’s jersey ranks No. 6 in the last 3 1/2 months.
Neither Sam nor Manziel has been helped by being drafted by particularly popular teams. Manziel is the only member of the Browns to find his way into the top 25. Sam’s No. 96 jersey is the only one from the St. Louis Rams on the list.
Rookie quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles come in at No.13 and No.18, respectively. Signal callers account for 13 of the top 25 jersey sellers.
The Seattle Seahawks lead the way with five players in the top 20, including the “12th Man,” representing the fans, at No. 10 overall. The Minnesota Vikings are the only other team with multiple players in the top 25 represented by Bortles and Adrian Peterson.
Russell Wilson led the NFL in jersey sales during the 2013 season, and he finds himself at No.2 on the current list. Peyton Manning and Colin Kaepernick have also fallen back one spot at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.