Johnny Manziel, also known as “Johnny Football,” will undoubtedly get the lion’s share of the attention the media gives to rookies going into this year’s football season. The Texas A&M alum hasn’t taken a snap yet in a pro game, but the Cleveland Browns’ second choice in the 2014 entry draft — and, as pointed out by a previous article in The Inquisitr, a late round draft choice of the San Diego Padres — has already jumped right out to the front of all NFL quarterbacks in one important category:
According to a Fox Sports report, Manziel’s No. 2 Cleveland Browns jersey is flying off off sporting goods and department store racks at a faster rate than the jerseys of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rogers (who in a related Inquisitr article, is quoted saying Johnny Manziel should sit this year) or any other star QBs. In fact, Johnny Manziel jerseys are outselling all other NFL jerseys from April through July.
What’s more, Johnny Football is the first Cleveland Browns player ever to lead the NFL in the jersey sales category going into the season. That includes both the current iteration of the Cleveland Browns and the now-Baltimore Ravens, who were founded in 1946. Manziel is followed by Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos. The Cleveland Browns are not exactly perennial best sellers in the NFL jersey sales category. The only year they cracked the top three among NFL teams was in 1999, when the new Cleveland Browns re-introduced the brand, according to an ESPN report.
If Manziel earns the starting job — and that shouldn’t be all that difficult on Cleveland — and has a good year, he could even go pole to pole leading NFL QBs in jersey sales. On the other hand, if he sits on the bench, there could be a lot of fans wearing a Manziel jersey than Johnny Football never wears in an NFL game. If Johnny Manziel doesn’t get on the field this year, he will be wearing an entirely different jersey next year. According to this report in Sports Illustrated, the Cleveland Browns are planning on a complete upgrade to their uniforms — including, presumably, Johnny Manziel’s number 2 jersey — ahead of the 2015 season.
In a related Inquisitr report, another quarterback who had astronomical jersey sales before he ever played an NFL game — Tim Tebow — is being encouraged to take his game to Canada’s CFL to try to revive his NFL prospects.
One other notable rookie has also cracked the top 10 in jersey sales. The St. Louis Rams’ Michael Sam, the leagues first openly gay player, drafted with the last pick of the last round (and who many don’t expect to make the cut for a Rams team that is already fairly well set at his position) was number six in jersey sales.
So, which jersey are you wearing going into the 2014 season? Have you bought your Cleveland Browns No. 2 Johnny Manziel jersey yet?
[Photo via Bing]