NFL: Tebow’s Broncos jersey leads NFL sales for April
By RACHEL COHEN
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK — Tim Tebow already leads the NFL in one category: jersey sales.
His Denver Broncos No. 15 was by far the most popular on the NFL's website for April. His celebrity clearly trumps the debate over whether he'll ever make it as an NFL quarterback after winning the Heisman Trophy and two national championships at Florida.
Tebow is, at best, third on Denver's depth chart at QB. But the 25th pick of the first round still had the best-selling rookie jersey since the NFL started keeping track in 2006. Thirty percent of the orders came from Florida.
The Broncos were tops in the league in merchandise sales on NFLShop.com in April after ranking 10th for the year ending March 31 — and without any other Denver player's jersey in the top 25.
The draft's top pick, the St. Louis Rams' Sam Bradford, was at No. 9, behind not just Tebow but the second selection, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The new Detroit Lion, who ranked eighth, is the only lineman in the top 25.
April's No. 2 seller was an old quarterback on a new team: the Redskins jersey of Donovan McNabb. McNabb's Eagles jersey wasn't even in the top 25 for the year ending March 31, trailing even teammate Michael Vick.
His trade to Washington has sparked not just interest in McNabb but in his replacement in Philadelphia, Kevin Kolb. Ready to make his debut as a full-time starter, Kolb was No. 12 in the April rankings.
Just as eye-catching is the drop in jersey sales for a quarterback in the news for very different reasons: Ben Roethlisberger. The Pittsburgh Steelers star, a longtime mainstay among the league's most popular jerseys, ranked 11th for the year ending March 31.
He's nowhere to be seen in the top 25 for April, a month when he was suspended without pay for six games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Prosecutors decided not to charge Roethlisberger in a case involving a 20-year-old college student who accused the quarterback of sexually assaulting her in a Milledgeville, Ga., nightclub.
LaDainian Tomlinson's move from the Chargers to the Jets boosted sales of his jerseys. He ranked 16th for the year ending March 31, but shot up to sixth for April.
The rest of the top 10 for April includes many of the usual suspects: Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Tony Romo and Troy Polamalu.