A couple of weeks ago, the National Football League Players Association released their Top 50 Merchandise Sellers of 2015. In something that probably doesn't surprise you, only one member of the Minnesota Vikings made their way onto that Top 50 list.
In something that probably will surprise you, that member of the Vikings was not Adrian Peterson.
No, it was quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, not Peterson, that sold more merchandise than any Vikings player in 2015. Bridgewater made his way into the top half of the list, coming in at #25 overall, and it wasn't just because of his jersey.
The list is released quarterly by the NFLPA, via its licensing and marketing arm NFL Players Inc., and is based on overall sales of all licensed products from online and traditional retail outlets. The NFLPA collects data reported from more than 80+ NFLPA licensees such as Fanatics, Nike, Majestic Athletic Wear, Outerstuff, Forever Collectibles, Fathead, McFarlane Toys, Bleacher Creatures, FBF Originals, 500 Level, FanPrint, Photo File and New Era. Licensed product categories include men's, women's and youth game jerseys and t-shirts, wall decals, figurines, toys, matted and framed photos, ugly sweaters, bobbleheads, pins, drinkware, socks and electronic device accessories, among others.
Maybe it shouldn't be quite as surprising as it is to see Bridgewater on this list. After all, he's given the Vikings more hope at the quarterback position than they've had in a long time and, despite what his detractors say, has played pretty well given the fact that he's constantly under siege.
To me, however, it's a bit of a surprise to not see Peterson on there. He's still the best running back in the National Football League. . .then again, only seven of the top 50 players listed were running backs. It appears that, following a 2014 season that was full of turmoil and controversy, the "brand" of Adrian Peterson took a pretty significant hit after all. Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things, to be honest.
So, if you thought there were an overabundance of Teddy Bridgewater jerseys at TCF Bank Stadium this past season, it appears that you were probably right. Here's hoping that, in 2016, Bridgewater gets enough recognition for his play to move even higher.