LeSean McCoy only Eagle to rank in top-50 highest selling jersey list


Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Last week when we learned that Google search data indicated that the Eagles were the 10th most popular NFL team in the nation, I argued that the Eagles lacked star-power. I also said that while LeSean McCoy was hands down the best running-back in the NFL in 2013, and likely would have been the MVP had it not been for Peyton Manning, he wasn’t necessarily at the point where he is viewed as an NFL icon. The national uproar surrounding DeSean Jackson‘s release, may have even indicated that, nationally at least, ‘Shady’ wasn’t even the most popular player on the Eagles. When the NFL Players association released the list of the top 50 selling NFL jerseys today, the notion that LeSean is popular, but not a face of the NFL, was backed up.

Despite clearly being one of the top five or ten most valuable players (on either side of the ball) in the entire league in 2013, McCoy didn’t even crack the top 20. Perhaps fittingly, he checked in at number 25 on the list.

"NFLPI Top 50 Player Sales Rankings (FY14):1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos3. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers4. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers6. Tom Brady, New England Patriots7. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks8. Eli Manning, New York Giants9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts10. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints11. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans12. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks13. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings14. Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers15. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys16. Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers17. Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers18. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots19. Arian Foster, Houston Texans20. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions21. Victor Cruz, New York Giants22. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys23. Wes Welker, Denver Broncos24. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins25. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles26. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers27. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers28. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens29. DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys30. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys31. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears32. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers33. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders34. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys35. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens36. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears37. Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts38. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans39. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals40. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs41. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints2. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers43. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers44. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons45. Von Miller, Denver Broncos46. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos47. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers48. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons49. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears50. Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers"

The eye-opening thing about this list isn’t that McCoy was so low on the list, but rather, that he was the only Eagle on the entire list. DeSean Jackson wasn’t even on the list, and judging by the DeMarcus Ware Cowboys’ jersey and the Eric Decker Broncos’ jerseys on the list, Jackson’s Eagles jersey could have still ranked on the list.

When it comes down to it, the Eagles are building a team, not relying on the Andy Reid-Joe Banner mentality of putting six or seven expensive players on the field and hoping to win a Superbowl. I can’t claim to know whether or not that plan will work or not. What I do know, is that Superbowl MVP Russell Wilson is the first name on the list, and two of his teammates (Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman), are in the top 15. While Russell Wilson played like a top-five quarterback for much of 2013, if I was making a list of my top five quarterbacks, Wilson would struggle to even make the list. But, his name being on the list represents that if you get a top-seven quarterback, and surround him with an elite team, you can win a championship.

Wilson’s name being on the list also suggests that should the Eagles make a deep playoff run, or even a Superbowl run, that Nick Foles could climb that list. Would Nick Foles being in the top 10 of this list next year mean that he is one of the top-five players in the NFL? Most likely not, but it would show that he was an integral part on one of the NFL’s elite teams in 2014, which is the most important thing when it comes down to it.

Also, Chip Kelly might be the biggest name associated with the Eagles right now, and he wasn’t eligible for the list. Had their been a list of the most respected coaches across the league, I’d be shocked if Kelly didn’t at least crack the top seven.