Have More NFL Players Started to Have Other People Sign Their Cards for Them?

Something very odd has happened over the last two years, and it involves sticker autographs. With 3 specific players, autographs have changed significantly, sticker vs on card autographs that we know to be real. Not only has the signature’s slant, start and stop point, and composition changed, but they have been added to cards as “guaranteed authentic” by the companies that have used them.

I have already talked about Cam Newton and Dez Bryant on this site a few times, but we need to add Ryan Mathews to the list. For reference, here are the rookie premiere autographs for all three players.

2010 Topps Dez Bryant Rookie Premiere Auto /90

2010 Topps Ryan Mathews Rookie Premiere Auto /90

2011 Topps Cam Newton Rookie Premiere Auto /90

We know these to be real because the rookies sign them during the premiere with reps from the company standing over them. Obviously, its not like Christian Ponder went and signed Newton’s cards for him.

Here are other examples of the same player signing sticker autographs for later in the year. These have all had QUESTIONABLE authenticity because the autographs are so different. Matthews has entered new territory as having 3 ridiculously different autographs. Im not saying these might not end up being real, there has been wide speculation across the message boards they are signed by someone else, mainly because the authenticated in person autographs received look more like the signatures see on the premiere examples.

2012 Gridiron SIgantures Ryan Mathews Auto /25

2012 National Treasures Ryan Mathews Base Auto

2010 Certified Dez Bryant Dual Jersey Auto

2011 Cam Newton Topps Platinum Gold Refractor Auto

Since this has been brought to the attention of the companies, Panini has already released cards of Cam Newton with the original signature:

2012 National Treasures Cam Newton Auto

Again, players change their autographs all the time (example 1 vs example 2), WE KNOW THIS. However, there are usually easy recognition points that can tie the differences to the first example. It doesnt seem plausible that a player can just up and change the slant of their handwriting. That is very tough to do when signing 1000 stickers. Even more problematic, Topps has said on numerous occasions that a rep witnesses all signatures in their products, as a result, we dont see as many of the affected signatures in their recent products. Panini’s language says the player is responsible for the authenticity, and as a result, many of the affected stickers are in their sets. Even Upper Deck and other companies are affected too. When it comes down to it, all I believe is that we are due an explanation.

I am not saying these autographs are not signed by the players, but man, something looks off.

9 thoughts on “Have More NFL Players Started to Have Other People Sign Their Cards for Them?

  1. It’s a shame this is happening. I have no doubt in my mind Cam had someone else sign a lot of his stickers. It’s also maddening that the card companies allow players to get away this stuff.

  2. How many autographs do you think Cam Newton has signed for card companies in his short career? These companies demand so many I can start to understand why a player would have their cousin start signing for them. It’s dishonest and wrong on the players’ part, but man theses guys get ridden hard for autographs. They don’t want to sit around signing a few thousand stickers at a time. I wonder if players dislike signing stickers as much as I dislike them on my cards. I imagine they feel at least a little more connection to their auto if it’s on a card with their picture as opposed to a sheet of stickers.

    Not only do these fakes start creeping in, but the quality of the signatures steeply decline as companies demand more autographs. I’m a little surprised at how low collector expectations have dropped for the look and completeness of signatures. I’d love to see a blog post about the worst offenders. Chris Johnson has plenty of company now. Part of the reason I enjoy collecting golf and veteran football players is for the more complete signatures.

  3. Brandon … as a reply to your comment about the players being “sick of signing” so they get others to do it for them .. the simple answer would be if you don’t like signing the cards/stickers than don’t sign the back of the check when you get it for signing.

    That is one signature they will gladly sign ..

  4. With the recent exclusive right contracts, which started in 2010, for football, the business seems a bit complicated.

    I have noticed that the early auto’s for SAGE, Leaf, and Press Pass have looked a lot more nicely done than by the time we get into the Topps and Panini releases. I just think both Topps and Panini just cut out the sticker auto, have on-card exclusive auto’s, more short print variations, and less event-worn material cards serial numbered to 299 or less. I really like what 2008 Absolute Playoff Memorabillia, RPM and Tools of the Trade were done. I feel both Topps and Panini should keep it that simple for Game-Used and Game-Used Auto’s, just takeout the foil board

  5. Last comment, I think it’s called the players “Getting Auto Lazy”. Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles and Rashard Mendenhall are a few off the top of my head that have the worst autos

  6. This just sucks, im staying away from any product with Sticker Autos.

  7. Pingback: Dez Bryant RC Autos...fake autos? - Blowout Cards Forums

  8. The Newton looks like the same person did both. The C’s match, the t’s are very similar, and the N’s aren’t 2 types of handwriting, but 1 handwriting and 1 printing.
    Friends or family would be much more likely to either do a bad imitation of everything in the real signature, or to look nothing at all like the real signature.

  9. I disagree, but you are welcome to voice your opinion. The Cs and Ts are different in slant and signature pen pressure.

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