Topps RCs From NFC South Legends
Welcome to the NFC South! In New Orleans, the Saints bring the jazz, and the fans are all about collecting those rookie cards like rare gems. Atlanta’s got the Falcons and a modern vibe, with every OG card feeling like discovering a fresh beat. Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans are chilling by the sea, showcasing their prized cards, while Charlotte keeps it cool, with the Panthers’ fans unlocking new levels of card collecting. We’re diving into the iconic RCs from each organization.
2001 Topps #311 Michael Vick
For a short but memorable time, Vick was the league’s most popular player and a cultural icon in the southern stronghold of Atlanta, a city where the playas play. He electrified crowds with videogame-like feats- a cheat code in Madden 2004- and seamlessly blended hip-hop culture with football in a way reminiscent of how fellow 757 legend Allen Iverson did the NBA. Not to mention, Vick topped the charts in jersey sales several times and even earned his own signature shoe. Several years post-retirement, the “Human Joystick” and Hampton, VA native still holds NFL records for career rushing yards (6,109) by a quarterback and the highest average yards per carry in a season (8.4).
PS: How many quarterbacks made cameos in T.I. music videos? That alone makes Vick a legend.
2011 Topps Five Star #170 Cam Newton RC Autographed Jersey /199
After Randall Cunningham crawled and Michael Vick walked, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound Cam Newton sprinted to professional football stardom, showcasing the most imposing and versatile version of a dual-threat quarterback the football world had witnessed. A Heisman Trophy and national championship winner out of Auburn, Newton was a first-overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 draft, quickly becoming the most impactful player in the franchise’s history and setting several league records, including the most passing yards by a rookie in his debut (422). Though his record for passing yards by a rookie over an entire season (4,051) has since been broken, Newton still holds marks for career rushing touchdowns by a QB (75) and games with both a passing and rushing score (45). Quite a résumé from the South Atlanta native and first Panthers player to clinch both Offensive Rookie of the Year (2011) and MVP honors (2015), the same year he guided Carolina to the Super Bowl.
PS: The print run of 199 actually makes this a little easier to locate in terms of high-end Cam Newton autos. But you’re still paying a pretty penny for this bad boy.
New Orleans Saints
1984 Topps #303 Rickey Jackson
Scooped up by the Saints in ’81, Jackson hit the ground running, joining the NFL All-Rookie team and quickly becoming Freddie Krueger to quarterbacks. With six Pro Bowls, four first-team All-Pro nods, and a Super Bowl ring with the 49ers in his trophy case, the noted QB harasser was no stranger to accolades. In NOLA, he set records with 195 games played and 123 career sacks, even tying the record for most sacks in a game at 4! Shoutout to the first Hall of Famer to make this list.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1995 Bowman’s Best Blue Refractor #12 Warren Sapp RC
Before Warren Sapp became arguably the best defensive tackle to ever grace the NFL, he was known for knocking former baseball star Johnny Damon out of high school football games, showcasing his Florida-native fierceness early on. With an outsized personality and the sweet feet of a ballet dancer, Sapp brought an unmatched intensity to the gridiron, leading a dominating Tampa Bay defense, clogging holes, and compiling 96.5 sacks — third-highest in league history by a defensive tackle. A card commemorating his rookie year, the 1995 Bowman’s Best Blue Refractor #12, encapsulates this legend’s initial foray into the league, making it a coveted piece for collectors. The card’s gleaming blue finish is a visual metaphor for Sapp’s sparkling career, which included seven Pro Bowl selections, a Super Bowl victory, and a bust in Canton.
Baddest in the Game: NFC South
1995 Topps Finest #193 Derrick Brooks RC
Like Sapp, Brooks starred on the vaunted 2002 Buccaneers’ defense, a unit that propelled Tampa to its first Super Bowl title in team history. But check this out: Brooks wasn’t just the middle linebacker laying the wood. He was also the league’s Defensive MVP that year. Tack on 11 Pro Bowl invites, nine All-Pro appearances, and a spot on the 2000s All-Decade team, and there you have a Hall of Famer and the NFC South’s Baddest in the Game.
Explore AFC Legends and their Rookie Cards