Contenders Football Rookie Ticket Autographs Visual History: 1998-2017

Contenders Football Rookie Ticket Autographs Visual History: 1998-2017

Although Playoff Contenders was introduced in 1993, the brand's biggest contribution to the hobby came a few years later. Debuting in 1998, Contenders Rookie Ticket autographs have become one of the most popular rookie card lines in the entire industry.

As the name suggests, the card designs follow a ticket theme. Some years are a little looser than others, but the name has remained constant since 1998. Most years have also seen the cards go without serial numbers, and the print runs (or ranges) revealed later. This has led to varied production rates for the many first-year players, even within the same set. As a result, some lesser players have high demand as set builders drive prices up for the rarest cards.

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Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Randy Moss are among the memorable Rookie Ticket autographs from the line's early years. However, the Contenders Rookie Ticket brand has produced two clear icons in the modern collecting world: the 1998 Peyton Manning and the 2000 Tom Brady.

When Panini purchased Donruss Playoff in 2009, they continued to use the Playoff brand through 2011. However, in 2012, the name switched subtly to Panini Contenders.

Below is a visual history of the Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph designs over the years. We've also included some of the highlights from each year, showcasing some of the great players who have had rookie cards. Click on the links to shop for cards from that year. You can also see some of the most popular Rookie Ticket auction listings on eBay at any given moment.

What's your favorite design? Let us know in the comments below.

Contenders Football Rookie Ticket Autographs Gallery

1998 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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1998 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs Peyton Manning

Highlights:

1999 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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1999 Highlights:

2000 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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2000 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs Tom Brady

2000 Highlights:

2001 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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2001 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs Drew Brees

2001 Highlights:

2002 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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Highlights:

2003 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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Highlights:

2004 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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Highlights:

2005 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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2005 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs Aaron Rodgers

2005 Highlights:

2006 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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2006 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs Jay Cutler

2006 Highlights:

2007 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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2007 Playoff Contenders Adrian Peterson RC

2007 Highlights:

2008 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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Top Matt Ryan Rookie Cards

2008 Highlights:

2009 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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2009 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs Matthew Stafford

2009 Highlights:

2010 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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2010 Highlights:

2011 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket

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2011 Playoff Contenders Football Rookie Ticket Autographs Cam Newton

2011 Highlights:

2012 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket - Full Set Profile

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2012 Panini Contenders Football RPS Rookie Ticket Autographs Andrew Luck

2012 Highlights:

2013 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket - Full Set Profile

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2013 Highlights:

2014 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket - Full Set Profile

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2014 Highlights:

2015 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket - Full Set Profile

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2015 Highlights:

2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket - Full Set Profile

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2016 Panini Contenders Football

2016 Highlights:

2017 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket - Full Set Profile

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2017 Highlights:

Top eBay Listings
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Ryan Cracknell

E-Mail Author | 
Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Comments

  1. I like the 2001 and 2008 years the best and I feel like lately it has been an overrated product that does not live up to the standard set by previous years

  2. I opened a 2000 contenders pack and got a blue brady rc that was ot numbered what happened here? it should have been numbered to 1 or 100 right?

  3. Was there ever any information released in regard to 2004 Contenders Blue Ink and Black Ink signatures?

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