Cleveland has a hit with new quarterback Johnny Manziel. The NFL is reporting that the young player’s jersey (No. 2) has sold more during the first quarter of 2014 than any other . And Manziel hasn’t yet taken the first snap in his professional career.
Manziel’s jersey sales eclipse those of players with Superbowl wins and years of work on the gridiron. As ESPN reported, “Manziel topped Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (No. 2), San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (No. 3) and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (No. 4).”
The Browns quarterback has proven so popular in Cleveland that he was even credited with helping to sell out an Indians game just because he was going to be there to throw out the first pitch.
Good-old No. 2 may be exciting fans, but he is also courting quite a lot of controversy. Having developed a party boy image, Manziel has endured months of criticism of his conduct off the field. In June Manziel felt compelled to go to the media and insist “I’m not doing anything wrong.”
Another rookie player who has yet to step into his first game is openly gay player Michael Sam, whose St. Louis Rams jersey is the sixth most sold thus far this year.
Other rookies to crack the top 25 most-sold jerseys list includes Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (No. 13), Houston Texans defensive end and top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney (No. 16), and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (No. 18).
This is the first time since 2007 for a Browns player to appear near the top of the list. In 2007 Browns quarterback Brady Quinn started the season as the second-most sold jersey. Quinn ended the season as the 17th most sold.
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