BOSTON (AP) — Scandal over deflated footballs put Patriots quarterback Tom Brady under a microscope last season. It didn't stop him from being the NFL's top merchandise seller.
The NFL Players Association said Monday that merchandise featuring the Patriots quarterback ranked No. 1 on its list of sales for licensed products sold online and in traditional retail outlets. Brady regained the top spot from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who was the best-selling player for two straight sales quarters.
Sales for all player-identified products exceeded $1.5 billion for the 2015-16 season. The list is based on sales from March 1, 2015 through Feb. 29, 2016.
Brady last held the top spot on the list in the first quarter of 2015.
Rounding out the season-ending top five are recently-retired Peyton Manning, Wilson, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant. Joining them in the top 10 are Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.
The Seahawks, who came up short in their bid to play in a third consecutive Super Bowl last season, are the team with the most players ranked among the top 50, including Wilson (No. 3), Richard Sherman (No. 14), Marshawn Lynch (No. 15), Jimmy Graham (No. 22), Kam Chancellor (No. 40) and Earl Thomas (No. 50).
In his final NFL season, Manning had the best-selling jersey through Nike, followed by Newton, Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Brady, and Gronkowski.
Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower