In recent years for football, a player's National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph has ranked at or near the top of their best rookie cards. 2014 Panini National Treasures Football is likely to be no different. But growing competition among the high-end ranks, particularly from Panini itself, might blur the lines a little more. There's also the case of the -- so far -- M.I.A. cards of Odell Beckham Jr. and Teddy Bridgewater.
A total of 33 players have Rookie RPS Century Materials Signatures cards in 2014 Panini National Treasures Football. Numbered as part of the main set, they considered rookie cards. Each card is serial numbered to 99 (except Jace Amaro who is limited to 35 copies) and comes with both a jumbo patch swatch and an on-card signature -- something that's surprisingly rare in 2014 National Treasures.
All of the key 2014 rookies are included on the checklist, including Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles and Mike Evans. However, the biggest early buzz has been on what's not showing up rather than what is.
Strangely enough, in the first week of the set's release, not a single Beckham or Bridgewater has surfaced on eBay or in any group breaks. While both have had rarer autograph inserts pop up, none of their rookie cards or their parallels have. Panini insists that they made their way into packs, but something odd is definitely up. That doesn't mean it's intentional, but it's not normal for such an occurrence. Bridgewater is a redemption and Panini went as far as to show some of the finished cards on their blog that arrived just after the product's pack-out. Whatever the circumstances are, the situation has hurt some of the excitement that usually surrounds the product's release.
Over the long term, it's going to be interesting to see how these National Treasures rookie cards hold up next to some of the other ultra-premium rookies put out this year in products like 2014 Panini Flawless and 2014 Panini Immaculate. There's also 2014 Topps Five Star, although that product is all inserts this year so there are no official rookie cards by the traditional label.
Below is a full gallery of all the 2014 Panini National Treasures Football Rookie RPS Century Materials Signatures cards minus Bridgewater and Beckham.
2014 Panini National Treasures Football Rookie RPS Century Materials Signatures Gallery
Click on the card names or images to shop for specific cards on eBay.