Pitting the Seattle Seahawks versus the New England Patriots, the 49th Super Bowl is a battle between an old AFC power and a new dominant force from the NFC. The biggest sporting event of the year will usher in a collecting frenzy for the top names. While it may only last for a few weeks, the winner of this game will enjoy a strong boost in the hobby and the players with big performances will see their value and interest spike. This will be especially true for the winning quarterback.
The collecting guide below for Super Bowl XLIX highlights the top rookie cards and other first-year options for key names and also identifies some potential surprises for each team. Detailed collecting guides for top players are also linked when available.
Super Bowl XLIX Collecting Guide
Click on the listings or images below to shop for rookie cards on eBay.
As the defending champs, things appear to be coming together nicely for the Seahawks. Tom Brady and the Patriots are the last obstacle to overcome in order for the team to claim a second consecutive Super Bowl win. Hobby interest has already surged thanks to the success from last year, but another title would likely send things into overdrive.
Wilson may not be the the prototypical NFL quarterback and his four-interception game in the NFC title game nearly sunk the Seahawks, Russell Wilson is clearly a special talent and collectors have not slept on the dynamic QB. Two Super Bowl titles in his first three seasons would put him on the road to collecting immortality. View a detailed Russell Wilson collecting guide here.
- 2012 Topps Five Star Russell Wilson RC #159 Autographed Patch #/50
- 2012 National Treasures Russell Wilson RC #325 Autographed Patch #/99
- 2012 Contenders Russell Wilson RC #225 Autograph (PR = 550)
- 2012 Exquisite Collection Russell Wilson #127 Autographed Jersey #/150
The only player that comes close to Russell Wilson in Seattle from a hobby perspective, Marshawn Lynch is the focal point of the offense and he put forth another great season despite persistent rumors of his impending demise. He may not be with the team as soon as next season, but he can cement his legacy with collectors if he produces one more earthquake-inducing run on the way to a Super Bowl win. View a detailed Marshawn Lynch collecting guide here.
- 2007 Exquisite Collection Marshawn Lynch RC #131 Autographed Patch #/99
- 2007 National Treasures Marshawn Lynch RC #123 Autographed Patch #/99
- 2007 SP Authentic Marshawn Lynch RC #293 Autographed Jersey #/399
- 2007 Contenders Marshawn Lynch RC #194 Autograph (PR = 533)
Now the top receiving threat on the team, Doug Baldwin has received a slight increase in interest from collectors. However, based on his average stats over the past three seasons, it will take something big from Baldwin in the Super Bowl for the masses to actually take notice.
- 2011 National Treasures Doug Baldwin RC #236 Autograph #/99
- 2011 Contenders Doug Baldwin RC #131 Autograph
The Seattle defense is dominant to the point that it has become an expectation that they will shut down the opponent. Defense has slowly seen a boost in the hobby and that can be largely attributed to the Seahawks. Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas are the top names for collectors, but there are many other elite players, like Bobby Wagner or Kam Chancellor, who are also an important part of the defense and worthy of collecting consideration.
While the offense leans heavily on Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin and Christine Michael are both players that have shown potential in their limited opportunities. The Seattle receiving corp is one of the weakest on paper, but Luke Willson and Jermaine Kearse are both names to keep an eye on and have been consistent options for Russell Wilson. And, of course, there is always someone from the defense who could show up big like Malcolm Smith, the former Super Bowl MVP who is not even a starter this year.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots return to the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season and also make their third Super Bowl appearance in eight seasons.. While the team has been chasing another Super Bowl title for a decade, collecting interest remains strong.
The face of the Patriots for fifteen years, Tom Brady is a hobby icon and his rookie cards already sell for a significant premium. Another Super Bowl win would put him at four in his career and place him in a tie with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana for the most by any QB. View a detailed Tom Brady collecting guide here.
- 2000 Contenders Tom Brady RC #144 Autograph
- 2000 SP Authentic Tom Brady RC #118 #/1250
- 2000 Leaf Limited Tom Brady RC #378 #/350
When he is healthy, Rob Gronkowski is the most dominant tight end in the NFL and the go-to option for Tom Brady. While injuries have kept him down the last few years, Gronk is finally healthy and could be the key for a Super Bowl win. Tight ends are not regarded the same as other offensive positions, but Gronkowski is already one of the top overall options for the position in the collecting world. View a detailed Rob Gronkowski collecting guide here.
- 2010 National Treasures Rob Gronkowsi RC #329 Autographed Jersey #/99
- 2010 Topps Five Star Rob Gronkowski RC #161 Autographed Jersey #/90
- 2010 Contenders Rob Gronkowski RC #229 Autograph (PR = 499)
While the running back situation in New England is tough to predict, LeGarrette Blount has proven quite effective for the team when used as the primary back in the last two years. It remains to be seen what the game plan will be, but Blount could see an uptick in hobby interest if he is prominently featured in the Super Bowl. View a detailed LeGarrette Blount collecting guide here.
- 2010 Playoff National Treasures LeGarrette Blount RC #265 Autograph #/99
- 2010 Playoff Contenders LeGarrette Blount RC #165 Autograph
- 2010 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection LeGarrette Blount #166 Autograph #/65
A classic example of the Patriots' system that has proven adept at identifying value over hype, Julian Edelman is an undersized player that was overlooked by many teams coming out of college. Once Wes Welker left New England, Edelman became the team's top receiver and is a security blanket for Tom Brady. Julian Edelman only has eight rookie cards and the four signed options are the most popular.
- 2009 Exquisite Collection Julian Edelman RC #158 Autograph #/99
- 2009 National Treasures Julian Edelman RC #161 Autograph #/99
- 2009 SP Authentic Julian Edelman RC #305 Autograph #/999
- 2009 Playoff Contenders Julian Edelman RC #176 Autograph
The Patriots have shown that it really doesn't matter who is catching passes from Tom Brady. While Gronk and Edelman have proven to be the top receiving threats, Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell are also in the mix for those looking for more names, but neither really have produced much collecting interest.
As little as the name on the jersey seems to matter at receiver, running backs are even more interchangeable in New England. Other than Blount, Shane Vereen is the top candidate for a primary role, but Jonas Gray or Brandon Bolden could see some playing time as well. It is important to note that Jonas Gray does not have any cards currently available.