It seems Heisman winner Johnny Manziel has some football cards to chase after all. In an e-mail sent out yesterday from Leaf Trading Cards, Manziel-signed cards are the redemption prize from 2013 Leaf Metal and Leaf Valiant Football releases. The card began shipping this week.
The cards feature original 1-of-1 artwork hand drawn/painted by the artist and an authentic cut signature. Each signature has been authenticated by PSA/DNA, and each card includes an authentication sticker on back. In addition, each card is slabbed by Beckett Grading Services for its protection.
Leaf Trading Cards is trying to make sure they have adhered to all possible challenges of the cards with the following statement:
"Leaf wishes to clarify that neither the cards, the use of the signatures included in the cards, nor the artwork, is sanctioned or endorsed by the personality, his university, or any other organization or licensing body," said Brian Gray, CEO of Leaf Trading Cards. "The artwork is an original creation protected by the First Amendment. The cut signatures were obtained by Leaf from third parties. Neither Leaf nor its employees have met with, spoken to, or had any contact with the personality. The depictions on the cards are derived from unique artwork created by an artist under contract to Leaf.�� The cards represent the artist’s impressions of Johnny Manziel, which Leaf understands to be protected by the First Amendment."
Both Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel have released statements that they were in no way involved with the cards (which would be a major NCAA no-no) and the university said it is investigating the matter.
Leaf Trading Cards is no stranger in pushing the envelop and seeking attention, and the company has already received a ton of attention with the announcement of these redemption cards from the likes of ESPN, CBS Sports and numerous other outlets. We'll keep an eye out for these on the secondary market.