Tom Brady leads merchandise sales for first time

Tom Brady's recent difficulties have inspired New England Patriots fans to support him in unprecedented ways with their wallet.

The NFL Player's Association released data on Thursday that revealed Brady is leading the league in player merchandise sales from March 1 through May 31 of this year.

It's fair to say that Brady's looming suspension, currently under appeal, was a big factor in this ranking. He had never even been ranked in the top three in merchandise sales until 2015. The list is based on sales of all merchandised products.

Quarterbacks dominated the top five of the list: Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Peyton Manning were next up. After that, J.J. Watt, Richard Sherman, Odell Beckham, and two rookie quarterbacks -- Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston -- rounded out the top 10. Kaepernick actually finished first in jersey sales alone.

The NFL announced on May 11 that Brady was suspended four games for violating the NFL policy on the integrity of the game. His appeal concluded on June 23, and we are still waiting to find out if the suspension will be reduced. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently said there is no timeline to decide on the appeal.

*The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the eight most intriguing training camp battles heading into the season. *

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