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Which NFL QB's Autograph Should You Be Investing In? Hint, it's not Joe Burrow

February 01, 2022 12 min read

Which NFL QB's Autograph Should You Be Investing In? Hint, it's not Joe Burrow

This is a question that I get hit up with all the time and I've kind of avoided it for a while because I don't like giving investment advice. It's not what the business is all about. Still, I want to hopefully kind of shed some light on it and hopefully give you guys a little bit of direction on this popular topic here.

So the question I get is, which quarterback should I be investing in? We've got some popular young football players right now that are doing really well at the quarterback position. I'm talking about, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and people are really confused and they think some of these guys are really gonna pay off. If you follow the card market at all, you see like a Patrick Mahomes card for a million dollars and Joe Burrow cards sell for a hundred thousand dollars. This is just insanity. 

Only one of those four has won a Super Bowl, and that's Patrick Mahomes. None of the other guys have really done anything just yet. So to me, that's just bonkers, but we're going to go through these guys. We're going to talk about the positives and negatives of each of them. Then at the end I'm going to talk about who, if I were in your shoes, who I would be investing in. Spoiler alert, it's probably not going to be one of those four guys. Now, again, when we're talking about investing. We're going to be holding it with the hopes that it goes up in a good chunk of change.

That's what we're looking for. We're not looking for quick flips here. Yes. Joe Burrow, Herbert, all these guys can be quick flips, but we're talking about buying something and holding it. Just keep in mind. This article is for entertainment purposes only. I'm just going to share my thoughts on each guy. Please, don't take it all as fact or guaranteed moneymakers. You need to buy what you like and buy within your budget. Always do what's best for you. Not just because some silly guy like me on the internet says you need to.

So before we get into the positives and negatives of these guys, I just want to touch on a few quarterback stats for you. I thought were kind of interesting. So the average length of a quarterback's career in the NFL is four and a half years. So let's assume they sit on the bench for their first year, which is highly possible. That means they're only going to be playing for three and a half years. That's the average. As we all know, if you are a quarterback, and you win a Super Bowl, you have really instant value, instant credibility in the memorabilia space. If you don't win one, in most cases, you aren't worth Jack. There are exceptions to every rule. Dan Marino being one.

Tom Brady has, obviously won the most with seven as of the making of this followed by Montana and Bradshaw with four. Of course, stats and winning are only part of the equation. Popularity of the player and the team that they play for are also big characteristics. Also if you can find some sort of competitive advantage of the items, a certain athletes signs. So we're gonna be talking mainly about autographs. Not so much the card market at all, but which autographs should you be investing in?

So let's jump on over to our first quarterback topic and that is going to be Justin Herbert. A couple of positives on him. Obviously, he's extremely talented guy, some decent stats in this first couple years here. He's got a QBR of like 98 in his first two years, 69 touchdowns already. So the guy obviously knows how to play the quarterback position. He's got a couple of decent receivers around him with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

Negatives on him. He's got to play Patrick Mahomes twice a year. That's tough. If you can't get to the playoffs, can't win a Super Bowl. So that's going to be challenging. You don't need to win the division to get to the playoffs, but winning the division is certainly going to put you in a better position to go further along in the playoffs. The Chargers haven't ever won a Super Bowl. So that's not going for him. He's a GTSM guy. So if you don't know who GTSM is they represent him and a bunch of other athletes for autographs. That means that he's going to be signing a ton of autographs. Every few months, he's going to be doing something.

So there's going to be a lot of supply on him. So supply and demand, if they are a 500 team, which is kind of what he's been the first couple of years, not making the playoffs, he's signing a lot of autographs. That's not a good recipe right there. So unless you can get something very specific of his, such as a game used jersey from his rookie year, the chances of an investment on him paying off right now, in my opinion are slim. There's going to be tons of supply. He's probably not going to win a SuperBowl. He's going to have a tough chance to get in there. Just not someone I would be personally picking out for a long term.

Next topic, Mr. Joe Burrow. One of my favorite quarterbacks out there. Joe's a hot topic lately because he's been playing well, and he's obviously given the Bangles their first playoff wins since you know, text messaging was invented. So that's pretty incredible right there. Cincinnati has got a rabid fan base for him, and everybody's kind of rooting for the Bangles.

Some positives on Joe, he's a Heisman trophy winner. So he's always going to have value. So always going to be signing autographs because the Heisman trophy is one of the best awards in the sports memorabilia industry. He won a national title at LSU, a big program and Bengals fans will absolutely love him forever should he bring them a championship. Again, very talented guy, got a nice supporting cast with him. So that's huge for a quarterback. He's got 108 QB rating. Signs with Fanatics. They generally like to keep the pricing of their athletes high.

So he's gone exclusive with them, which means he's not going to be signing with everybody. So it's going to be kind of a limited supply than if he was just kind of on the open market. Guy's probably not going to be doing any public shows. So there's gotta be a little bit less supply out there. Plus Fanatics is really good at creating unique products of their athletes. They don't have them just standard sign stuff all the time. They do create limited edition pieces, or they also have access to certain photos that maybe you can't get anywhere else. So Fanatics does has a pretty good job with their autograph guys. They understand the market. They understand how to get the most value out of their athletes.

Negatives on Burrow, he's already had one big injury with his knee. Imagine owning hundreds of thousands of dollars of Joe Burrow merchandise, and all of a sudden you see that happen. So this is what the big issue is with quarterbacks and really any player that's still currently playing is injuries.

Historically the AFC Central has kind of been a tough division, tough defenses, the Steelers and the Ravens. So it could be tough sledding in that division to getting back into the playoffs every single year. But again, the Bangles just, haven't been a very good franchise for a long time, not to say they can't be one but their history is not really on their side.

As with any current player, your competitive advantage is going to be something unique. Game, used jersey of Burrow limited edition piece that just can't be redone. Something signed in the rookie year. That's the kind of stuff that people are kind of looking for. Buying an authentic helmet and sitting on it right now and thinking it's going to go up in value, well it may go up just a little bit, but it's probably not going to have a huge return on your investment . Joe Burrow is going to be signing for a while, so I would expect minimal minimal gains on that particular investment.

Next stop, Josh Allen. Positives for him, he's currently in his fourth year, so we kind of have a good idea of what kind of quarterback he is, a solid, solid running quarterback. Plays for a very prideful franchise. So they got a good shot at winning the division each year. Pretty good offensive crew around them, decent receivers there with the digs and whatnot.

Doesn't sign a ton of autographs but he still signs, maybe a couple signings a year, but definitely less than any GTSM guys. So that's somewhat on the positive, I guess.

Negatives on Josh Allen. What kind of player is he going to be out there? As far as marketing wise? Yes, a player's stats and how they perform on the field are the first things that we're kind of looking at, but that's why Patrick Mahomes is so popular. He's got these huge marketing deals off the field with Oakley and all these other brands. So you're seeing him in commercials all the time, and that definitely helps keep a player in the limelight in the off season, but also helps them sell their memorabilia.

Take Tom Brady for example. How many commercials you see him in? How many products is he representing? He's got his own brand now. So he's constantly out there in social media and in marketing. What will that be like for Josh Allen? Is that something that's going to help him and, and take him to kind of the next level and help sell his memorabilia? I don't know. He didn't really play for a popular college out there in Wyoming. So college items probably won't sell that well for him. But the same rules apply here. You got to find something unique to give you an advantage on him. Game used jersey, et cetera. Again, buying just a helmet or a jersey and sitting on it is probably not going to pay off for you because this guy's going to be a consistent signer.

So out of those three that we just talked about, none of those three kind of sound like a real solid investment. I'm not really super high in any of those three. They haven't really won anything at this particular point. They're signing a bunch and there's no real competitive advantage you can have of buying anything of theirs outside of like a game used jersey or something like that. So the supply is going to be very high. I would probably stay away from those three guys. So who should you be investing in? Let's talk about two other guys here and then I'm going to kind of get into who my main pick is here.

So first one, Joe Montana. I mean, sounds like a good one, right? Montana's won four SuperBowls, played at Notre Dame, played for a very popular franchise. Highly collected. Everybody wants something Montana in their collection. Definitely well-respected, he's got some great inscriptions and unique items that you can make. You can do dual sign stuff with Jerry Rice, you can do signed stuff with Steve Young, et cetera. He's a Fanatics exclusive right now. So that's definitely a big positive for him. The price will remain pretty high.

Negatives, he just signs a ton. He doesn't sign as much now he's a Fanatics guy, but I remember he was doing signings when he would do the Tristar shows. Like couple of times a year. Then he was still in other private stuff. So there's just a ton of stuff out there from Montana, and it might not pay off for you. It might pay off in the long run here, but the supply is just so high on him right now. You've gotta be looking for unique stuff, Super Bowl signed tickets. Those are cool. Because you just think of Super Bowl and you think of Joe Montana, Super Bowl trophies, limited edition pieces, stuff like that. Unique stuff with inscriptions, but really anything related to the SuperBowl is what I would be looking for on Montana. Again, buying just single signed helmets and sitting on them, probably not a good idea because there's going to be a plethora of those around.

Next up, Patrick Mahomes, our local boy here. So he's already a Super Bowl winner. The defense is playing really good right now. Huge marketing deals and price is still a bit affordable. It's not crazy high. It's up there a little bit, but still fairly high. Signs, a good amount, but nothing crazy, and he probably won't do public signings. I think this last one he did was at a GTSM show right after winning the league MVP. Apparently that was not a good experience for him. So I don't think he's going to be doing another public signing anytime soon. So that's good. It's going to kind of limit the supply out there. The negatives on Mahomes, again, just a little up and down season. I'm kind of nitpicking on that. He's actually had a very good year. There's just not much limited to the addition or kind of unique collecting pieces out there, outside of those custom made helmets and whatnot, which a lot of people really like those. Those are kind of unique. But there's just a lot of standard stuff out there for Mahomes, just standard stuff, helmets, jerseys, photos. He doesn't really do any send in signings. There's just no need to do it because he sells so well. So stuff like that is kind of what really hinders you with Patrick Mahomes. So there's really no competitive advantage that you can find right now, as far as limited edition pieces, unique inscriptions and all that kind of stuff.

So this next person that we're gonna talk about is not someone that I personally own anything signed of at this particular moment. The only guy I would go with right now is Tom Brady. Just don't waste your time with any other guy. Why do I say that? Well, again, we're looking to invest in someone who is a winner, who is going to give us a return on our investment, who is better than Tom Brady right now? Name one other quarterback out there that is going to give you a better return.

I can't really think of anybody right now. So let's look at some positives right now, and I'm looking at some negatives on Tom. Seven time champ currently. He's won titles with two different franchises, that is so hard to do in the NFL. He doesn't sign much. He does maybe two signings a year. Played for two very popular teams in Michigan then also New England.

Another Fanatics guy. So the pricing is going to remain high. I can't see Tom Brady's pricing ever going down. There would be no reason for him to ever drop his price. He has cemented his legacy in the NFL world. Why would you ever drop your price? Plus he's got consistent authentication too. That's another big positive of him. You know that you're only by Tristar and Fanatics stuff, authenticated by him. It's a big positive about them. We know which autographs are authentic for him.

Negatives on Tom. He's expensive. You've got to save your money on him. His inscriptions keep changing cause he keeps winning. So make sure you don't buy something with an inscription that could potentially change. What if it was another MVP? So never buy inscriptions that could possibly change. Those are really the only two negatives out there on him.

What would I buy if I was in your shoes and I decided that I believe in Tom Brady, I want to do Tom Brady. Let's go ahead and buy his stuff. What would be your competitive advantage? Game used stuff is probably out of the reach for most of us. Finding anything game used on Brady is just going to be really really difficult. It's Super expensive. I think the SuperBowl tickets are cool. I think Fanatics just sent an email out saying they're not going to allow inscriptions on Super Bowl tickets now or something like that. So if you see inscriptions with Tom Brady on Super Bowl tickets or something like that, it might be something to consider picking up there.

Again, Tom Brady is synonymous with Super Bowls. I mean, any limited edition piece you can see out there or any unique helmet, such as a blaze, for example, that they just don't make anymore. Those would be something to be picked up. Again, anything that just cannot be replicated.

Maybe you look into some dual signed items out there, dualed sign items with like Montana or Peyton Manning, stuff like that. You want to be thinking to yourself. Can this be easily replicated again? That's going to be your competitive advantage with Tom, is to try to find items that cannot be easily replicated, that you can find it at a decent price now and just sit on. If I were in your shoes, I would save my money and buy something that I believe in and see where it goes. Worst case scenario, hey, you got an autographed item for the greatest quarterback of all time.

Other quarterbacks to think about briefly, Bart Starr. Bart Starr is deceased. Obviously he's not signing anymore. Won the first two SuperBowls and played for an iconic franchise in the Green Bay Packers. I mean, stuff like that is just, that's just the kind of thinking I want you guys to get into is, what can not be replicated and can I find a competitive advantage on some of these guys?

That's what I would do. I would stick with those guys like Tom Brady. Can't go wrong with Mr. Tom. So hope you guys liked this episode. Again, let me know in the comments below, who would you be investing in? Who's a solid quarterback investment. There are so many out there. It's very confusing. But I think there's just one to go with, man and that's the goat, Mr. Tom Brady.

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