In the NFL, things are different than they are in baseball and basketball. There are no exclusive licenses, and there are no products that go void of the big rookies that make each set worth buying for many of the collectors. There is a rumor floating around that 2011 may be different, although there isnt much information as to why. According to a few high level industry tweeters, including Upper Deck’s brand manager, Cam Newton and Mark Ingram may not be having autographs in every product as normal. We have already seen that both Newton and Ingram have autographs in 2011 Upper Deck Football, but unlike every other year, there might not be tons of competition.
As of now, there is speculation that it could be a combination of cost per auto and licensing rights, something that could DRASTICALLY be affected by the decertification of the NFLPA. In the end, the only thing that matters is that the autos are included in each product, otherwise the people that do have Newton and Ingram will have a HUGE advantage over those that dont.
As of now, check out some of the prices these guys are getting for autographs. Its easy to see how important they are:
If you dont already know, I absolutely hate exclusives. I dont care if the people show up in the shittiest Panini products of the year, I at least want them to have a chance to produce better cards of every player, not just the ones they can negotiate with. Then again, I dont want my favorite players to be cut out of products I want to buy just because one company paid more for the exclusive deal.
When this rumor gets some legs, im sure we will have a lot more to talk about. Right now, its not looking good for Topps and Panini, if they are the ones on the outside looking in.