Rice, Rice, Baby! Top 10 Jerry Rice Football Cards

Rice, Rice, Baby! Top 10 Jerry Rice Football Cards

Jerry Rice is the greatest receiver in NFL history and arguably one of the top football players of all-time. He currently holds most of the NFL receiving records and although he played for multiple teams near the end of his career, he will always be thought of as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. Tremendous individual success and team success with the 49ers have made Jerry Rice cards some of the best collecting options among retired football players.

With a playing career that began in 1985 and stretched out to 2005, Jerry Rice has plenty of card options to collect. However, since that includes the junk wax era of the late-80's and early-90's, many of the the top Jerry Rice cards came at the onset of his career and well after it ended.

The following list takes a look at ten of the top Jerry Rice cards available. The full Jerry Rice profile can be seen here.

Top Jerry Rice Cards

Click on the listings or images to shop for singles on eBay. 

1986 Topps Jerry Rice RC #161

The oldest and most valuable Jerry Rice card is his only official rookie card. The 1986 Topps card design may not wow anyone, but centering issues make Mint and Gem Mint copies a premium collectible. Despite that, there is decent supply available, so ungraded copies can be found for under $20.

1986 Topps Jerry Rice RC 213x300 Image

1986 McDonald's SF 49ers Jerry Rice

Although not as popular as the 1986 Topps, another Jerry Rice card was issued in 1986. These McDonald’s cards represent an additional opportunity for collectors to grab an early, albeit oddball, Jerry Rice card. The full set includes 24 cards, and McDonald’s locations in the San Francisco area released them over multiple weeks.

There are actually four different versions, each with a different color removable scratch-off tab. The tabs could be scratched to reveal various prizes. Blue tabs were distributed first, then black, gold, and lastly, green. Top value is reserved for the still-intact versions and blue is the toughest to find unripped since it was the first to release.

1986 McDonalds SF 49ers Jerry Rice 194x300 Image

1987 Topps Jerry Rice #115

The difference between the 1986 and 1987 designs is monumental and this is not necessarily a bad thing. The simple design relies heavily on a white border and small split text box at the top. Budget collectors can easily find this early Jerry Rice card on the cheap.

1987 Topps Jerry Rice 115 215x300 Image

1999 Metal Universe PMG Precious Metal Gems #135 Jerry Rice #/50

PMG's were a late-1990's staple and have even been revived in recent products. The 1999 Metal Universe versions includes Jerry Rice and a metal nameplate, complete with rivets and Refractor-finish. These rare cards are numbered to just 50.

1999 Metal Universe PMG Precious Metal Gems 135 Jerry Rice 216x300 Image

1999 SP Signature Player's Ink Jerry Rice #JR-A Autograph

Although Jerry Rice was included in the Player's Ink insert set in 1998, the 1999 edition has a more classic look. The base green version is the most common and a purple-bordered parallel is hand-numbered to 100. Both cards feature an on-card signature from Jerry Rice.

1999 SP Signature Players Ink Jerry Rice Image

2011 Upper Deck College Legends Autograph Jerry Rice #21

It is admittedly tough to get past the college jersey, but if you can, this Jerry Rice Upper Deck Legends revival is an impressive card. With the famed UD Legends design and on-card signature, the card is bumped to the next level because it is a short print. While the card is not numbered, Upper Deck revealed that Rice is part of the Group A subset, which drops 1:1,087 packs.

If the college jersey is a deal-breaker and money is not an issue, there is an NFL licensed SP update version for Rice from 2008 Ultimate Collection, but they are even more rare and pricey.

2011 Upper Deck College Legends Autograph Jerry Rice 215x300 Image2008 Ultimate Collection1997 Upper Deck Legends Update Jerry Rice SP 214x300 Image

2012 Crown Royale Legendary Silhouette Autographed Jersey Jerry Rice #27 #/25

The low print run guarantees that not many will pop up for sale at any given time, but the large jersey pieces and aesthetic appeal make it a great Jerry Rice card.

2012 Crown Royale Legendary Silhouette Autographed Jersey Jerry Rice 213x300 Image

2012 Topps Five Star Autographed Patch Jerry Rice #FSSP-JR #/75

Consistently an underrated Topps brand, the 2012 Five Star Autographed Patch card for Jerry Rice features an elegant look and adds a small patch alongside an on-card signature.

2012 Topps Five Star Autographed Patch Jerry Rice Image

2013 Topps Triple Threads Auto Relic Trios Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Joe Montana #TTART-MYR #/27

Jerry Rice enjoyed the opportunity to catch passes from not just one, but two Hall of Fame quarterbacks. This is one of several cards to immortalize the trio, and all are a great option.

2013 Topps Triple Threads Auto Relic Trios Jerry Rice Steve Young Joe Montana Image

2013 Panini National Treasures Spectra 50th Anniversary HOF Signatures Update Jerry Rice #JRIC #/50

Technically part of the Spectra design debut, the 50th Anniversary HOF Signatures were continued in National Treasures. Jerry Rice was one of the players featured in this on-card autograph set. The Refractor-like finish is dazzling in person, but does not display as well in a scanned image.

2013 Panini National Treasures Spectra 50th Anniversary HOF Signatures Update Jerry Rice 212x300 Image

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Jerry Rice 1997 Action Packed Studs #4 of 9 promo San Francisco 49ers
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Jerry Rice 2003 Elite Mask of Steel Card # 175 350 49ers
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Jerry Rice 2002 Upper Deck Forth Quarter Fabric Card # JR Raiders
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1998 Aurora Gridiron Laser Cuts #16 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1998 CE Supreme Season Review T3 #14 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket Red #66 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1998 Playoff Prestige Checklists #25 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1998 Topps Chrome Season's Best Refractors #27 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1997 Pacific Invincible Pop Cards #10 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1997 Pacific Big Number Die Cuts #19 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1997 UD3 Generation Excitement #GE1 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1997 SkyBox Impact Excelerators #9 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1997 SkyBox Premium Close-ups #5 Jerry Rice - NM-MT
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1995 SkyBox Impact (Future Hall of Famers) Jerry Rice
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2000 Topps Gallery (Proof Positive) Jerry Rice Keyshawn Johnson
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Trey Treutel

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Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim, and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

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