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Patriots Have Zero Players In Top 50 Of NFL Jersey And Merchandise Sales; Tom Brady Tops List

BOSTON (CBS) -- Tom Brady jerseys continue to sell like crazy. Jerseys from Patriots players? Not so much.

The NFLPA announced the player sales list from March through May, a list which ranks players based on sales of "officially licensed NFL player products and merchandise."

Buccaneers quarterback and reigning Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady came in at the No. 1 spot, as people continue to purchase gear after his 21st season. That's some kind of staying power.

The list goes on to include the top 50 players in the league in merchandise sales, and zero of them play for the New England Patriots. That is interesting.

(If you're interested, the NFLPA listed the items aside from jerseys that are included in the data: trading cards, T-shirts and hoodies, backpacks, wall decals, pennants, collectible figurines, matted and framed photos, bobbleheads, plush, drinkware, pet products, and more.)

Obviously, the Patriots were one of the biggest draws in all of sports during the heyday of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. That resulted in crowded prime-time schedules, insane TV ratings, annual trips to the conference championship game, and of course, lots and lots of jersey sales.

Things changed quickly, though, after Brady departed as a free agent. Rob Gronkowski -- who came out of retirement to join Brady in Tampa -- was a bankable star for the Patriots, and he still is. He ranked No. 9 on the NFLPA list. Julian Edelman was likewise a popular choice among fans, but he retired this offseason.

Yet the list is dominated by quarterbacks, and with Cam Newton struggling mightily last year, and Mac Jones not yet having a jersey number, the Patriots don't have anyone on the list. A 7-9 season during a COVID year certainly led to some dampened enthusiasm in terms of buying gear and memorabilia.

It's not necessarily an end-all be-all in terms of gauging the popularity of the local football team, but it's certainly something to take not of as the team tries to get back into the national conversation in 2021.

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