The Amount Of Money Current And Former Star NFL Players Make In Merchandise Royalties Boggles The Mind

How Much Money Current And Former Star NFL Players Make In Royalties

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Have you ever wondered how much money star players like those in the NFL make in royalties from merchandise?

It has to be a lot, right? All those jerseys, video games and trading cards. Turns out… it is.

Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic recently took a deep dive into the NFL Players Association’s annual report filed with the Department of Labor and the numbers are absurd.

The money mostly comes from companies like Nike, Electronic Arts, and Panini, and is divided by to each player based on how much their names and likenesses sold.

Take a wild guess who was the top-seller last year?

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That’s right. The guy who has been with the SAME TEAM for 17 YEARS sold the most merch. How many Tom Brady jerseys does the average New England Patriots fan own?!

Russ Spielman, president of sports marketing at GSE Worldwide, calls the fact that Brady earned $2.35 million in merchandise sales last year “staggering.”

“You see, Peyton Manning moves markets when he did, and you understand when his jersey goes to the top of the sales,” said Spielman. “But for Tom, I mean, how many more Patriot fans are there that don’t own his jersey at this point, but it keeps going. It’s awesome to watch.”

Second on the list last season was Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and his zero career playoff wins with $2 million, followed by ex-Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown at $1.5 million.

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J.J. Watt ($819,958) and Von Miller ($795,412) were the only defensive players to make it into the top 10.

Other notables include Carson Wentz: $1.3 million, Nick Foles and Saquon Barkley: $1.2 million, Baker Mayfield: $1.16 million, and Sam Darnold: $1.04 million.

Ryan Shazier, whose NFL career came to an end due to injury in December, took home $104,164. Le’Veon Bell, who did not play a single down last season, earned $107,893.

Among former NFL players, Peyton Manning dominated, earning $902,218. Other top earners include Terrell Owens at $360,000 and Troy Aikman at $355,000.

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Check out the rest of what Kaplan learned over at