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Green Bay Packers an Affordable Group

NFL collectibles include a wash of green and gold after the Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV, but you will find that even the stars on the team are quite affordable at this time.

It seems like every time you turn the television channel, a member of the Green Bay Packers is smiling back at you. From Disney commercials to the Grammys, the Packers are everywhere these days.

Part of that comes with the territory of winning a Super Bowl. Another part is having a good agent to make sure, as a player, you’re in front of as many faces as possible. Regardless, when the spotlight is on you, you are generally on the minds of those watching you. Translated to our industry – people are buying Packers memorabilia.

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As always with champions, newly elected Hall of Famers and MVP winners, values for those who win such honors are always higher immediately after the accomplishment, so keep that in mind if you are looking to join the Packers bandwagon.
So who’s the top dog and what are some of the top items? Let’s dig in and find out.

Aaron Rodgers
As expected, Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers is the leader of this pack. His prices have steadily been on the increase since he took over as the starter after Green Bay decided to move on after Brett Favre’s first “retirement.”

In looking at some of Rodgers memorabilia sold in online auctions, it’s clear the limited-edition cards set the pace.

For starters, an Aaron Rodgers Upper Deck Exquisite Rookie Signature Material card, numbered 1/5 is listed with a Buy It Now offer for $15,000. But you should buy it now because it very well may end up being a $50,000 card in the future – so says the seller. Does this person sell used cars as well?

It’s not the only Rodgers card with high price tags. There are numerous signed cards, all in high grades and in limited numbers that range from $6,000 on down.

For what it’s worth, I should mention that a 2005 SP Authentic Rodgers rookie card NFL Shield auto, numbered 1/1 did sell for $8,600 – before the Super Bowl.

Prices drop for completed sales pretty quickly after that, with either Gem Mint autographed cards or those with 1-of-1 quantities selling in the $2,000 range.

And thus far, it’s really only the cards bringing mega bucks. Among the completed listings that don’t involve cards are a game-used jersey for $750 and a Upper Deck Authenticated issued, signed Green Bay Packers full-size helmet for $600.

Expect prices for Rodgers gear to continue to move upward as long as he’s putting up numbers that leave the Packers faithful giddy and forgetting who was the quarterback before he took over in 2008.

Need some proof to back that up? I’ll give you just a couple of statistics.

Rodgers became the first player in NFL history to post 4,000 yards passing in each of his first two seasons as a starter (2008 and 2009). He also has 73 touchdown passes in his first 41 career starts, a Green Bay Packers franchise record.

I wouldn’t bet against him.

Charles Woodson
Another stalwart on the club is cornerback Charles Woodson. The 13-year veteran won a Heisman at Michigan, was named the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and now has a Super Bowl ring in his possession. So how does he do on the collectibles market?

The Heisman credentials automatically make him more coveted, as Heisman collectors need him as part of the complete group.

Still, even with those credentials, he is a pretty cheap date on the collectibles market. Signed jerseys can be had for less than $200. His Bowman rookie card fetched some nice cash, with a 1998 Silver Bowman Signature Autographs rookie card topping the list at $225.
In a bit of a surprise, A 2010 McFarlane Sports Picks variant figurine is also among the leaders, selling for $200.

His signature gets more expensive if you add other Heisman winners to the mix on an item, but that’s to be expected.

Chances are prices will stay fairly steady for Woodson going forward, even with a possible Hall of Fame bust in his future. At that point, you can add another label to Woodson’s career that will make him attractive to collectors.

Clay Matthews

The long-haired linebacker for the Packers, Clay Matthews, has become one of the signature players for the team. The long hair helps with endorsements, but the 131/2 sacks and runner-up in the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year honors is what has put him on the map to NFL stardom. And he’s just getting started as a second-year pro.

Green Bay Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene had this to say about Matthews: “He was willing to take a lot of things that I brought to the table from playing this position for 15 years and he has implemented those things. He has a motor in his heart that will never die. He is always going to be clawing and he has just become a true student of the game.”

Some sellers have aggressive selling prices for Matthews’ memorabilia, but once again it’s the cards that lead the way.

A 2009 Certified Clay Matthews rookie Mirror Black Auto 1/1 has sold for $400. Other top cards include examples from the 2009 Exquisite set, all limited-editions. A signed Pro Line full-size Packers helmet also hit $400, with signed authentic jerseys just a notch below at $370.

As a defensive player in just his second season, chances are his memorabilia will never be higher-priced than now, but you can’t predict what future success he might have. That said, I’d hold off the buying frenzy and wait for prices to drop – unless he gets a gig on a soap opera.

Secondary stars
If you’re looking at some Packers players who might be flying under the radar, keep an eye on 2010 rookie running back James Starks and wide receiver Greg Jennings.

A Jennings 2006 Topps Finest rookie 1/1 autographed card has sold for $405, with other 2006 rookie cards selling for less than $300. Signed jerseys are available for $200 and less.

Starks memorabilia is relatively light. A few of his rookie cards are topping $150, and a signed Packers mini helmet has brought $100. These are folks hoping he gets more opportunities in 2011 and beyond, and it’s really not a bad time to grab some of his memorabilia while it’s quite cheap. But, again, it’s speculative at this point. 

Green Bay Packers fans are a devoted, buying-crazy group, so keep that in mind if you’re in a bidding war while still in the shadow of the Super Bowl. And if you’re a Packers fan yourself, enjoy the ride.

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