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Robert Griffin III sets NFL record for jersey sales

There was a healthy debate last season about who was the NFL's best rookie quarterback. There can be no debate about who was the most popular.

Robert Griffin III set a single-season jersey sales record on NFLShop.com, according to numbers provided by NFL PR's Joanna Hunter. (If you are curious, Andrew Luck was No. 6 in sales, and Russell Wilson finished No. 14.)

Joining a new team helped Peyton Manning reach No. 2 on the list, while retirement nostalgia brought Ray Lewis from No. 17 last year to No. 3 from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. Colin Kaepernick rocketed up to No. 4, and Tom Brady rounded out the top five.

Some other surprises from the list: Victor Cruz was the second-most popular non-quarterback, ranking No. 8 overall. Tim Tebow was the most popular backup, ranking No. 14 despite his lost year on the New York Jets. And Adrian Peterson's incredible year didn't translate to sales: He barely cracked the top 25. Troy Polamalu and Drew Brees both had big falls out of the top 10, while Miles Austin fell from No. 11 out of the top 25.

The NFL also keeps track of team sales, with the San Francisco 49ers finishing on top for the first time since at least 1979. (The 49ers were No. 2 in 1994 and 1995.) The rest of the top six selling teams all are in the Eastern time zone: The Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New England Patriots. That, right there, is your East Coast bias.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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