While American football may be a newer sport than baseball, that doesn’t make it any less popular! Football is the most-watched sport in the U.S.; that interest translates to trading cards. With trading cards from the first days of football all the way to today fetching high prices on the card market, you may be wondering about the most valuable football trading cards.

Read on to discover the 10 cards that have sold for the most money as of 2022!

Determining the Value of Your Cards

The most significant factor in determining your cards’ worth isn’t the rarity as much as the quality. While certain ultra-rare cards may still command high prices even with low grades, you’re much more likely to make money if your cards have strong, 7+ grades from the big grading companies like Sportscard Guaranty Company (SGC), Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), and Beckett’s Grading Services (BGS).

10. Bronko Nagurski 1935 Rookie Card—PSA 8.5

Bronko Nagurski’s rookie card is the oldest card on this list, and only one card of his has ever earned a higher grade than a PSA 8.5 (so perhaps this list will have Bronko a few spots up should someone decide to sell). This card sold for $174,000 in August of 2019.

9. Walter Payton 1976 Rookie Card—SGC Gold Label 10

Walter Payton’s name is synonymous with excellence on and off the field. With an SGC Gold Label 10, Payton’s greatness extends a bit further! Every year, his name comes up again when the Walter Payton Man of the Year award is announced, and deservedly so. His rookie card sold for $228,000 in February of 2021.

8. Tom Brady 2000 Bowman Chrome Rookie Card—BGS 9.5

Few football players can look back on over 20 years on the field. Love him or hate him, Tom Brady is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, Tom Brady shows up not once, not twice, but three times on this very list! This particular rookie card sold in March of 2021 for $233,700, and only 31 other cards have ever received the coveted BGS 9.5 grade!

7. Joe Namath 1965 Rookie Card—PSA 9

The New York Jets have one Super Bowl under their belts, thanks to this man. Out of 1,402 cards, only five have been graded a PSA 9. This card sold for $264,000 in February 2018.

6. Bart Starr 1957 Rookie Card—PSA 9

Way back in Super Bowl I, Bryan Bartlett Starr was a key player in securing the Packers’ victory. Then, he played the same role in Super Bowl II! Only three of his cards out of 1,710 have a rating of a PSA 9, which makes this an extraordinary card. In February 2017, this card sold for $288,000.

5. Patrick Mahomes 2017 Panini Flawless Rookie Card—BGS 7.5

Patrick Mahomes is the only player whose career began after 2010 that you’ll find on this list, but you’ll find him here twice! There’s no question why he’s here—no conversation about “best quarterbacks in the NFL today” is complete without mentioning Mahomes’ name. Whether you think the honor should go to Allen, Mahomes, or a tried-and-true option like Brady or Rodgers, Mahomes is undeniably a legendary quarterback.

The fifth-most-expensive card on our list sold for $312,000 in March of 2021.

4. Tom Brady 2000 SP Authentic Rookie Card—BGS 10

We told you he’d show up again, and here he is! Much like the rest of the league, we can’t keep Tom Brady down. This card had a limited print run of 1,250, making BGS 10s an incredibly rare find. Tom Brady’s 2000 SP Authentic rookie card sold for $312,000 in April 2021.

3. Jim Brown 1958 Rookie Card—PSA 9

It’s no secret that Jim Brown is one of the best running backs in the history of the National Football League. With a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it only makes sense that his rookie card from 1958 would command a high price—$358,500. This card sold in November of 2016, and only five cards like it have snatched a PSA 9 grading through the years.

2. Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contenders Rookie Card—BGS 9

And, yet again, here is Tom Brady. When this card came on the market in 2000, no one could have guessed that this rookie would go on to become one of the best to play the game—for two decades. The card has a BGS 9 rating for its condition and a BGS 10 rating for the autograph on the card—and it sold in June of 2021 for $3,107,372.40.

We’re not sure why the 40 cents were necessary, but who are we to judge? You’ll also notice a frankly ridiculous gap between the third-most-expensive card and the second. All we can say to that is—it’s Tom Brady.

1. Patrick Mahomes 2017 National Treasures NFL Shield Rookie Card—BGS 8.5

If you’re looking for a reason to get excited about football card collecting, this card is it. In July of 2021, this Patrick Mahomes autographed rookie card sold for $4.3 million. While the card was graded a BGS 8.5, the autograph was rated a BGS 10. Before you open packs looking for this one, however, you should know that its serial number is 1/1, meaning it’s the only card of its kind in existence.

Whoever found this one was a very lucky customer!

How To Find Football Cards Today

You can scour the dusty backs of card shops looking for football cards, or join us for one of our box breaks! One comes with sneezing and watery eyes, and the other comes with accessible vintage football cards, but the choice is yours… Seriously, though, come check out one of our livestreams. Don’t feel the need to buy anything; just tune in and see what it’s like! We have a lot of fun, and people leave with great cards.

Now that you know the most valuable football trading cards, get involved in a box break and try to score some top-dollar cards for yourself! You never know what you might find.

What Are the Most Valuable Football Trading Cards?