AP NEWS
Related topics

Barkley has top-selling NFL jersey without playing a down

August 31, 2018

Nice job, rookie.

A guy who has yet to take a snap in a real NFL game has the best-selling jersey in the league.

Saquon Barkley, the All-America running back from Penn State selected second overall in the draft by the Giants, is the leader according to DICK’S Sporting Goods Jersey Report .

Barkley is one of two rookies in the top 10; top overall pick Baker Mayfield, Cleveland’s quarterback, is ranked ninth.

Only one defensive player makes the top 10: Denver linebacker Von Miller.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz ranks second, followed by Tom Brady.

A year ago, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was first, followed by Brady. Prescott is fourth this year.

Along with Barkley and Mayfield, popular rookie jerseys belong to Buffalo QB Josh Allen, followed by Denver DE Bradley Chubb and Cleveland DB Denzel Ward.

Joining Miller on the defensive list are Carolina LB Luke Kuechly, Houston DE J.J. Watt, Cleveland DE Myles Garrett, and Chubb.

The NFC East dominates sales on the Jersey Report with the top three teams: the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys, New England is fourth, Denver fifth.

San Francisco is the least-popular club, though if Jimmy Garoppolo and remain unbeaten as a starting quarterback, who knows if that will last.

BIRDS OF PRAY

The story of the Philadelphia Eagles’ first NFL championship since 1960 has been told in many ways and with many angles.

None has been as refreshing or unique as the theme taken by AP Football Writer Rob Maaddi in his new book, “Birds of Pray.”

With a foreword by Carson Wentz , Maaddi examines how the strong faith and religious devotion in the Eagles’ locker room helped drive them to the highest achievement in pro football. Maaddi, who has covered Philadelphia sports since 2000, not only interviews dozens of players and their families, he chronicles the ups and downs of the team’s title season with a pinpoint focus on the power that belief — whether it be in God or each other — can bring.

“The real story of the Super Bowl champions can’t be told without talking about the strong faith and the unique bond many of the players shared,” Maaddi says. “I’ve never seen a team that was more united than the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, and their faith is what created that special brotherhood, and their faith is what allowed them to persevere and overcome so much adversity and ultimately become champions.”

IN DEMAND

The Dallas Cowboys are the NFL’s No. 1 team, while the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers are coming on strong?

Who says?

Ticket buyers on the secondary market, according to StubHub .

For the fifth straight year, demand for Cowboys tickets is the highest in the league. StubHub sees an increase of nearly 300 percent in sales over the average when the Cowboys are the visiting team.

“The Cowboys are an iconic franchise with a reputation that continues to draw a crowd season after season,” says Scott Jablonski, StubHub’s general manager of NFL, NBA & NHL.

But a Cowboys contest is not the most-sought ticket heading into the season. That game actually is in London, where the Jaguars host the Eagles on Oct. 28. It’s the first time an international series game has appeared in StubHub’s top 10 most in-demand games.

“Eagles fans have always been passionate, but their Super Bowl win has truly ignited the fan base to unprecedented levels,” says Jablonski. “We’re seeing Eagles fans willing to travel long distances to watch their team play, including internationally for their game in London.”

The Jaguars and 49ers have seen large demand growth compared to last season; San Francisco has moved up from 19th to sixth, while sales for Jacksonville games are up 318 percent following the team’s run to the AFC title game last January.

ROSEN ON LEBRON

Like many — probably most — athletes, Josh Rosen is impressed by the career and stature of LeBron James. The rookie quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals, who has drawn criticism from some for being arrogant because of his frankness and willingness to take a stand, has strong praise for the latest venture of the NBA’s biggest star.

Asked by Adam Schein on his SiriusXM satellite radio program how Rosen sometimes has been perceived, the 10th overall selection in this year’s draft noted: “I think it is always about crafting the message. There is always a good intention at heart; anything I do or say in putting myself out there is for the sake of helping others and trying to give people a voice who don’t actually have one.

“And on that topic, LeBron’s new show, ‘The Shop,’ it is exactly what this country means when they talk about ‘We need to have a conversation.’ And people are like, ‘What does that even mean, it’s conceptualist.’

“This show and that concept of athletes taking a lead and taking a role of sort of progress is really admirable, and that is exactly what we all should be rooting for, not criticizing.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

AP RADIO
Update hourly