Popularity contest: Brady, Newton in close battle for NFL's top jersey

/ by Darren Hartwell
Presented By Nissan

Two of the NFL's most popular players took center stage Thursday night in Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

But if you go by NFL jersey sales, the league's most prominent athletes are both tied to the New England Patriots.

According to Michael Rubin of Fanatics, Tom Brady's No. 12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey holds a slim lead over Cam Newton's No. 1 Patriots jersey for the best-selling jersey of the NFL's opening weekend.

Like, "less than 50 jerseys" slim.

Brady's Bucs jersey flew off shelves when he first joined Tampa Bay this spring, which isn't too surprising: The six-time Super Bowl champion long has been one of the league's most visible players and is changing his threads for the first time in 20 years.

It's a testament to Newton's star power that his Patriots jersey is neck-and-neck with Brady's, however.

The 31-year-old QB played in just two games last season and signed a bargain $1.05 million contract with New England in June, but he's still very much an NFL star.

Does Newton feel pressure of replacing Brady as Pats' QB?

So, while Patriots' offense and locker room could change significantly with Newton in town, one constant remains: New England still has one of the NFL's most popular players.