Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Don't have an account?
Error Message

NFL Kickoff: State of the Quarterback Card Market

NFL Kickoff: State of the Quarterback Card Market
September 8, 2022
Bradley Calleja

Heading into the 2022 NFL season, the quarterback card market is in a word, inconsistent. Record sales are surrounded by a broad decrease in volume and prices. So who are the QB's to watch as the season opens and where do they fit within the overall market? We breakdown the signal-callers and preview upcoming sales that could prove to be catalysts for some of the biggest names in football.

The G.O.A.T

Tom Brady

The best to ever do it is still sitting outside of the top 10 among sports card sales. After the earth-shattering sale of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle via Heritage Auctions, the 10th highest sports card sale of all-time sits at $3.75 million while the most expensive Brady card ever sold went for $3.1 million in in June 2021. The card was a BGS graded copy of the Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket and the sale occurred at Leland's. There was a rumored private sale in February for a different BGS 9 graded example but we were unable to confirm with a broker of the sale to ensure its legitimacy. Heading into this season, the highest end of the Tom Brady market is signaling some slight weakness after a BGS 8.5 graded Championship Ticket failed to sell at Heritage Auctions in August. The card failed to attract a bid above its reserve of $1.75 million after multiple sales for similar cards sold for more than $2 million earlier this year. The last public sale for a BGS 8.5 was for $1.2 million at PWCC which is the lowest price paid for a like-graded copy since 2019. For those looking for data into the overall Brady market, no TB12 card sells publicly more than the 2000 Skybox Dominion Tom Brady & Giovanni Carmazzi Rookie card. With more than 600 recorded sales for ungraded base examples in the past year, prices have dropped dramatically, down from more than $150 each to under $60. The total rate of depreciation in the past year is -52.8% while in the last three months, values have dipped by -44.6% (Data via CardLadder).

Priced for Perfection

Patrick Mahomes

Unfair? Maybe.

But when you lead your team to four AFC Championship games in your first four years as a starting quarterback, expectations are going to be high. The prices for top-tier Mahomes cards have chased those expectations and in some cases, chased them right off the edge of a cliff. The six-month return for the Mahomes Index on CardLadder is -35.8% while sales volumes has continued to slide downward heading into the 2022 season. Mahomes will be hard-pressed to lead the Chiefs to their fifth straight title appearance without the help of his favorite target Tyreek Hill, who was shipped to Miami for a plethora of draft picks. Mahomes is currently the only NFL player represented in the list of top-ten sports card sales and his $4.3 million total realized for a 2017 National Treasures Shield Rookie Auto still stands as the most expensive confirmed football card sale by more than $1 million. Since the sale, no Mahomes card has come close to reaching a similar level and some of the most lucrative RPA variations such as Stars and Stripes have experienced price drops of 50% from their previous peaks.

Alright, now for the good news. The low end of the Mahomes is actually seeing some momentum right now as his most commonly transacted rookie base, the 2017 Donruss, has seen an average price increase of 21% over the past three months while PSA 10 graded examples have dropped -12% in that same time period. This separation between raw and gem mint cards is a common theme found between many younger active players and is due in large part to how quickly graded cards appreciated between 2020-2021 and how far they have fallen since.

Rising Stars

Justin Herbert

The newest member of the million-dollar card club is reaching Mahomes-like expectations and 2022 will need to be a breakout season for those prices to be justified. The seven-figure card is a 2020 Panini National Treasures Platinum NFL Shield which is already priced at $1.26 million through 22 bids at Goldin. The record-breaking card will sell this coming weekend and is an impressive example of how much the Herbert market has appreciated in the past year. The exact card sold for $550,000 in a confirmed private transaction in August 2021. The card was sold raw and is now graded BGS 8.5 with a perfect 10 for the autograph. Prices for raw base Herbert Prizm cards have fallen -70% from their 2020 highs but have stabilized in recent months. The ungraded values are down only -1% in the last quarter while PSA 10 graded examples have actually increased by 3.7% in that same period.

Josh Allen

The sports betting market is bullish on Josh Allen and the card market is following their lead. Currently, Allen is the frontrunner to win league MVP with +700 odds while the Buffalo Bills are favored to win the Super Bowl with a price of +600. Meanwhile, the CardLadder index that tracks Josh Allen has gained 20% in the past six-months and is up 4% in the last quarter. While Allen has still yet to record a sale above $500,000, Goldin set a record for the Bills signal-caller when they sold a PSA 10 graded Gold RPA for $288,000. The card had last sold for $59,040 at Goldin in 2021 and was first sold in 2019 for just $1,201.

Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow and the Bengals were a surprise Super Bowl contender in 2021 and although Cincinnati fell short of securing their first ever title, Burrow and Company return with one of the deepest lineups in the league and should be in contention for another championship run. In the days leading into the Super Bowl, Goldin sold an ungraded 1/1 NFL Shield Joe Burrow rookie card for $534,000 which established a new record price. While the half-million dollar sale seems safe for now, the Burrow National Treasures RPA market could see a new leader once the Goldin September Elite Sports Auction closes. In August, PWCC sold a BGS 9.5 Stars and Stripes Burrow for $156,000 and Goldin is set to sell a red 1/1 RPA for at least $240,000 in the coming days. The Joe Burrow market has not been bullish this summer as prices have dropped more than -20% since April while his index has trickled down -11% in the last 30 days.

Rising Expectations

Trey Lance

One player with momentum heading into the season is the new quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers. One of the quieter solid teams in the league, San Fran has made 2 of the last 3 NFC championship games and fell by only 3 points last year to the eventually Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. While most teams would not move on from the quarterback after a run like that, the 49ers and coach Kyle Shanahan are looking for more out of their offense and will be turning to former North Dakota State star Trey Lance to deliver. In August, PWCC sold a one of one NFL Shield Trey Lance rookie for $132,000 which not only became the most expensive Lance card ever sold publicly but also the first ever six-figure card for the QB deemed the future for the 49ers.

Trevor Lawrence

Prior to August 20th, Goldin had never sold a six-figure Trevor Lawrence card. On August 20th, the final bid on a 2021 Panini national Treasures Platinum Lawrence Shield Rookie Card reached $336,000 with buyer's premium and set a new record for the second-year quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the Jags have a developing team in an AFC conference loaded with QB talent, there is an increasing sense of optimism with former quarterback and Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson now leading the young squad. The T-Law base market still lags the high-end significantly and has struggled to find much momentum but with a breakout 2022 campaign we could see a sudden surge in prices.

Sales to Watch

2020 Panini National Treasures Platinum NFL Shield #158 Justin Herbert Signed NFL Shield Rookie Card (#1/1)

2020 Panini National Treasures Rookie Patch Autographs Red #156 Joe Burrow Signed Rookie Card (#1/1)

Enjoyed this article? Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive more like it in your inbox weekly!

Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

Altanin post bacgraund

Latest News