As of 2022 the most expensive American football card is a unique signed card that came out in 2017, the Patrick Mahomes National Treasures Platinum Rookie Card.
It was released by Panini, one of the biggest names in sports cards, and in July of 2021 it sold for a staggering $4.3 million on the PWCC Marketplace.
The card was ranked by the BGS grader at an 8.5, and the autograph itself received a BGS 10.
It’s not the only football card that sold for a price in the seven-figure range, but this is currently the most expensive.
But what are the other most expensive American football cards? The following article will tell you everything you need to know about the rarest, most valuable cards.
The Most Expensive American Football Cards
So, the most expensive football card ever sold is the 2017 National Treasures NFL Shield Patrick Mahomes Autographed Rookie Card, number 161, which sold for $4.3 million in July of 2021.
The 2017 National Treasures line is a premium product, and part of the reason the Mahomes card sold for such a high price.
Around the time of the printing, Patrick Mahomes signed the most expensive contract in a decade at $450 million.
But what about the other most expensive football cards? The second highest price paid for a football card is $3,107,372.40.
Sold by Lelands Auctions in June of 2021, the card in question is the 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Championship Ticket Autograph Rookie Card, number 144.
At the time it was the most valuable football card in the history of sports. Its BGS rating was a remarkable 9, and the autograph received a BGS 10.
It’s no wonder the card is so valuable; Brady is widely regarded as the best player to ever play in the NFL, and secured several Super Bowl MVPs before his retirement in 2022.
Naturally, there are a number of other Tom Brady cards that have been bought for prices in the five or six figure range over the years.
These include the 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket #144 Autograph card, the 2000 Bowman Chrome Refractor #236 card, the 2000 Donruss Elite Aspirations #183 card, the 2000 Playoff Contenders #RN11 Tom Brady & Marc Bulger Round Numbers card, the 2000 Leaf Rookies and Stars #134 Longevity card, the 2000 Bowman Rookie of the Year Promotion card, and the 2000 Leaf Certified Mirror Red card.
The third highest price paid for a football card is a step down somewhat from the seven-figure Mahomes and Brady cards, but incredibly high nonetheless.
$358,500 was the price paid for the 1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie Card, number 62, in November of 2016 at Heritage Auctions.
Brown was considered one of the best running backs in the history of the NFL, and in 1971 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Ohio.
While there are over three and a half thousand prints of this card, very few of them received a PSA 9 (around 0.001% of them, in fact).
The 1957 Topps Bart Starr Rookie Card (number 119) had a PSA 9 Mint Condition ranking, and sold for $288,000.
Starr was the first quarterback to win the SuperBowl, and he was also the very first American football player to be an MVP of the SuperBowl.
All of Starr’s rookie cards are very collectible, but this card trumps them all. The second highest price for a 1957 Starr rookie card sold for around $7,500 to $8,500.
The reason for this price gap is because this card had a PSA ranking of 8, rather than 9.
Only three of the 1,760 cards of this printing received the mint 9 ranking; none of them were found to be in gem mint condition.
Overall the mint condition card is one of the rarest in football card history.
Back in February of 2018, the 1965 Topps Joe Namath Rookie Card (number 122), with a PSA 9 mint condition grade, sold for $264,000 at Heritage Auctions.
This was one of the bigger cards printed by Topps, measuring at two and a half inches wide and five inches tall, which was known as the ‘tall boy’ size of card.
With the bid of $264k, the 1965 Topps Joe Namath Rookie Card became the fifth most valuable football card at the time.
The 1965 Rookie set was highly collectible for a number of reasons.
They feature some iconic rookie players, including Willie Brown, Fred Biletnikoff, and Namath, but they also boast strong colors, character portraits that were far more detailed than regular character portraits, and of course those unique ‘tall boy’ dimensions.
The majority of the cards in this line have 5 or 6 PSA grades, making this particular Namath card all the more valuable with its mint condition grade.
Other Valuable American Football Cards
Some of the other most notably valuable football cards include the 1957 Topps Johnny Unitas RC card which sold for $167,300, the 1962 Topps Mike Ditka RC card which sold for $72,000, the 1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski card which sold for $66,354, the 1948 Leaf Sid Luckman card which sold for $40,052, and the 1952 Bowman Jim Lansford card which sold for $25,805.
It’s worth noting that while a lot of these cards might seem far less valuable than the most expensive cards on today’s market, inflation is certainly a factor.
Conclusion: What is the Most Expensive Football Card?
The most expensive football card to date is the 2017 Patrick Mahomes National Treasures Platinum Rookie Card, which sold for $4.3 million in 2021.
It’s rare for cards to have prices in the seven figure range, but there have been quite a few sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you happen to own any of the cards listed in this article, you might just be sitting on a fortune.