New Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has the most popular jersey among NFL rookies, per ESPN.
New Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has the most popular jersey among NFL rookies.
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This was what ESPN's Darren Rovell touched on in his May 12 update:
"Just call him Johnny Cash.
"So many No. 2 Cleveland Browns jerseys with Johnny Manziel's name on them have been sold since he was drafted Thursday night that the rookie quarterback has the best-selling jersey on NFLshop.com since April 1, topping the likes of Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning and Colin Kaepernick.
"The league wouldn't say how many Manziel jerseys were sold, but it did say that the official website store sold nearly as many Manziel jerseys across draft weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, as it sold Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Tim Tebow jerseys during their draft weekends combined.
"When Manziel jerseys went on sale at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland at 11 a.m. ET Friday, there was a line outside the team shop. Even LeBron James, whose business partner Maverick Carter works with Manziel, had a Manziel jersey on during the Miami Heat's flight to New York on Friday.
"Nike, which has an endorsement deal with Manziel and is also the league's official uniform supplier, is offering Manziel jerseys in every version and size.
"The company has also made special Manziel Browns shirts that read 'Johnny Football' and 'Manziel or Nothing' and a women's shirt that says 'My Manziel.'"
Rovell notes the second-most popular jersey among NFL rookies is that of Michael Sam, who was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round. Sam is the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.
His jersey was only made available for sale on Saturday, May 10 at 9 p.m. E.T., per the ESPN update.
NFL spokesperson Joanna Huter told OutSports.com it was an unbelieveable feat for an NFL rookie drafted on Day 3. She said,"This is unprecedented for a Day 3 pick, let alone a seventh-round pick, to crack the top five rookies sold following draft weekend."
The top five rookie jerseys include those of the Houston Texans' Jadeveon Clowney (drafted No. 1 overall), the Minnesota Vikings' Teddy Bridgewater (drafted No. 32 overall) and the Jacksonville Jaguars' Blake Bortles (drafted No. 3 overall), Rovell adds.
A photo of James wearing Manziel's jersey can be seen here.
In another related development, ESPN reports the Browns released backup quarterback Vince Young just four days after Manziel was drafted by the team:
"Vince Young's tenure with the Cleveland Browns lasted less than two weeks.
"Four days after drafting Johnny Manziel, the Browns released the 30-year-old Young.
"Browns owner Jimmy Haslam announced the move with Young on Monday during a speech at a Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon.
"Young, who didn't play in the NFL last season after being cut by the Green Bay Packers in the preseason, participated in the Browns' three-day minicamp before signing with the team May 1.
"The team signed veteran quarterback Tyler Thigpen on the same day.
"In addition to Manziel and Thigpen, the Browns also have incumbent Brian Hoyer, who is recovering from knee surgery. Hoyer recently said he remains confident that he will be the club's starting quarterback this season.
"Young spent five seasons with (the) Tennessee (Titans). He started three games for the (Philadelphia) Eagles in 2011."
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