Michael Sam can sack a quarterback. He can sell a jersey, too.
Save for Johnny Manziel, the openly-gay defensive end outdid all other rookies, including fellow pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, in jersey sales. Sam, selected with the 249th pick in the NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams, finds his jersey outselling all but five other NFL players.
Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers all moved fewer shirts than Michael Sam in the first quarter of the league year, which began on March 11. Given that Sam’s jersey had been available to the public for less than half of the first quarter, his placement on the list impresses. A public rush on the gear of high-profile rookies generally follows the draft. But a seventh-round pick who isn’t a lock to make his team inspiring so many consumers to buy is unprecedented.
The University of Missouri product joins Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman as the only defensive players in the top ten. Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel placed highest on the list.