5 of the Most Valuable Football Cards of All Time
The huge popularity of football and the top NFL stars can be seen in the amounts people are happy to pay for memorabilia.
Among the most valuable items that fans love to buy are football cards, but what are the most expensive NFL cards ever?
2017 National Treasures NFL Shield Patrick Mahomes Autographed Rookie Card #161
A new record for the sale of a football card was set in 2021, when this Patrick Mahomes card was sold for an incredible $4.3 million. It comes from his rookie season and has an NFL Shield logo rather than the usual jumbo patch.
Of course, the fact it is autographed adds to the value as well, but most fans were still shocked when the price was announced. The buyer was a card shop in Ohio, and they said that they were “honored to add this card” to their existing collection of items.
2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Championship Ticket Autograph Rookie Card #144
Not long before the sale of the Patrick Mahomes card mentioned above, the record had been set by another autographed rookie card. In this case, it was a Tom Brady card from 2000 that sold for a little over $3.1 million at an auction.
This is one of several Tom Brady cards that have sold for over $1 million in recent times. Being the leader of the top 10 players with the most passing touchdowns in NFL history, a legend like Tom Brady needs to be part of any card collection.
Before this sale, a different rookie card featuring the quarterback sold for $2.25 million, while just a few months earlier another one had fetched a then-record of $1.32 million. Rather than listing all of the Tom Brady cards in the rest of the top spots, we’ll just say that he is possibly the greatest NFL player ever and his cards are highly sought-after.
1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie Card #62
If we go back in time, we can find some incredible football cards from the past that collectors would love to get their hands on. These cards haven’t yet sold for the same astronomical amounts mentioned earlier, but if they made their way back onto the market they would be worth a fortune.
This Jim Brown card is a terrific example. One of the sport’s best-ever running backs, his cards are now among the most valuable around. An example was sold at auction in 2016 for $358,000 and the value of his cards is made greater because very few of them get the highest grade for their condition.
1957 Topps Bart Starr Rookie Card #119
Bart Starr was the outstanding QB who took the Green Bay Packers to success in the two first Super Bowls and was named MVP on both occasions. A legend of the NFL, his cards are now collector’s items and the most valuable to date sold for $288,000 in a 2017 auction.
It is easy to imagine one of these rookie cards selling for far more in the future, as only 3 of the 1,700 or so around are said to get a PSA 9 rating for being in excellent condition.
1965 Topps Joe Namath Rookie Card #122
Another of the most popular football cards that could sell for a lot of money at some point, this features the NJ Jets QB Joe Namath. Arguably the most popular player to ever play in this position, Namath became a hero in 1969 when he guided the Jets to an unexpected victory over the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl III.
The rarity of this 1965 card makes it one to look out for. Although similar cards in not great condition can be bought online for relatively small figures, a 1965 rookie card in excellent condition is sure to be considered extremely valuable by NFL memorabilia fans.