When it comes to NFL defensive players there is a small, specialized collector market. It is more glamorous to collect cards of the guy who passes for 462 yards and 7 TDs against the Baltimore Defense (Peyton Manning) than the guy who had 3 sacks and 5 tackles against the Jacksonville Jaguars (Justin Houston).
Very few guys create buzz on the D side of the game that get the collectors clamoring over their cards and when they do get the attention it is usually the “alluring” linebacker position. Guys like Ray Lewis, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, LT, Junior Seau and even the young Patrick Willis or Von Miller all have their collectors but lineman and DBs rarely raise anyone’s eyebrows. Ndamukong Suh may be one of the few defensive players that gets the attention of collectors.
When it comes to Suh, I think most of his fans follow him because of his antics, you wonder what he is going to do next. He has stepped on players, kicked Matt Schaub in the groin and treats opposing QBs as his personal stress dolls. His newest action, a low block on Minnesota’s John Sullivan following an interception, earned him a $100,000 fine. When you consider his base season salary is $630,000 (or $39,375 per game but this does not take in to account his $11.5 million signing bonus for 2013) he is playing the next 2 ½ games for free.
To put it in to perspective, his fine costs him 80 packs of Panini Flawless.
Oddly I think that Suh is one of the few players whose card values increase the more he is fined and with the nearly 1,400 cards available on eBay there are plenty of options for any collector.