Drew Brees’ NFL career ranks him among the greatest quarterbacks that the league has ever seen.
His best and most valuable rookie card is the 2001 Playoff Contenders Autograph card.
Despite sharing an era with fellow legendary quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, his rookie cards have always done well in the football card hobby, but it wasn’t until towards the end of his playing career that they reached the popularity and value levels that you’d expect.
Early collectors of Drew Brees rookie cards have seen a nice rise in value, and there are plenty to choose from, with 66 different base rookie cards, and hundreds more if you factor in parallels and inserts.
Brees’ rookie cards come from a variety of different card manufacturers, like Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck, Pacific etc, so it’s easy to see why there’s such a big selection for collectors to choose from.
His rookie cards vary in value, with the highest-end options selling for thousands, through to the more common options, which can be picked up around $10.
The list below details the 10 most valuable Drew Brees rookie cards to look out for – Unsurprisingly, most of them include an autograph, but there are a few key unsigned cards as well.
The Most Valuable Drew Brees Rookie Cards
2001 Playoff Contenders Drew Brees Rookie Card Auto #124
Of the many Drew Brees rookie card options, this 2001 Playoff Contenders autograph card has established itself as the clear favorite among collectors, despite its higher print run than some of the alternatives.
Although there’s a lack of serial numbering, the print run was confirmed to be 500 copies of the autographed card.
The popular Contenders Ticket concept adds to the appeal of this one, and helps contribute to its very high value. It doesn’t have a hard-signed autograph – collectors have to settle for a sticker auto, but that doesn’t seem to affect its popularity and price too much.
There is also an unsigned version, which is rare, and also very valuable.
2001 SPx Drew Brees Rookie Card Auto Patch #101
There are two different Drew Brees rookie cards from 2001 SPx – They feature similar designs, both having an autograph and jersey patch; One major difference is the background color, with one being gold & red, and the other silver & blue.
Both cards are numbered and limited to 250 copies, and are some of Brees’ most valuable rookie card options.
They have added significance, because they’re the only Drew Brees rookie cards to feature both an autograph and relic patch together.
2001 Topps Chrome Drew Brees Rookie Card #229
The 2001 Topps Chrome Drew Brees rookie card is easily the most sought-after, and valuable, rookie card of his that doesn’t feature an autograph.
Football card collectors have long turned to Topps Chrome as one of the key football products for rookie cards, and it’s no different for this one.
The base version has a print run of 999 copies, and the Black Refractor parallel version offers a tougher chase, with just 100 copies.
2001 Crown Royale Drew Brees Rookie Card Auto #150
The 2001 Crown Royale Drew Brees rookie card offers collectors something a bit different in terms of design, with the classic die-cut crown shaped design that we’re used to seeing from the product.
The hard-signed autograph also adds big appeal to this one, as well as it being serial numbered to 250 copies.
2001 Pacific Dynagon Drew Brees Rookie Card Auto #102
With 199 copies, this 2001 Pacific Dynagon autographed Drew Brees card is the rarest of his base autograph rookie cards.
The small on-card signature doesn’t stand-out much, but the shiny card is an appealing option for collectors, and it’s one of Brees’ most valuable rookies.
2001 Topps Debut Drew Brees Rookie Card Auto #101
The 2001 Topps Debut Drew Brees rookie card is another popular option, thanks to the hard-signed autograph and limited print run of 499, although it isn’t serial-numbered on the front of the card.
The card features an image of Brees in college colors, and the signature stands-out as the main feature – It’s another valuable and sought-after card.
2001 SP Authentic Drew Brees Rookie Card Patch #101
This 2001 SP Authentic Drew Brees rookie card is a nice looking option, with the added appeal of a worn-material patch.
The caption saying ‘Event-worn patch’ indicates its worn material from the 2001 NFL Rookie photo shoot, and not match-worn.
The card is serial numbered to 800 copies, and has a similar value to some of the autographed rookie cards already mentioned in this list.
Collectors do have the option of the Future Watch Gold parallel, which is limited to just 100 copies, but doesn’t include a signature – It also switches to a vertical layout.
2001 Pacific Drew Brees Rookie Card Auto #453
The 2001 Pacific Drew Brees rookie card offers another hard-signed autograph with an image of Brees in college colors, limited to 1,000 copies.
The black-ink signature doesn’t necessarily pop out at you, but it’s still a desirable feature.
Despite it having a much higher print run than the Topps Debut auto card, which also features Brees in his college strip, there’s more of a premium on this one in the highest grades, because it’s harder to find in top condition.
2001 Bowman Chrome Drew Brees Rookie Card #144
Another key unsigned Drew Brees rookie card is this 2001 Bowman Chrome card, largely because of the brand power that Bowman Chrome has in the hobby.
The relatively high print run of 1,999 copies for the base card makes it an attainable option, but big value and a harder chase is found in the small selection of Refractor parallels.
2001 Fleer E-X Drew Brees Rookie Card #95
Although the product lost some of the spark it had with its sets released in the 1990s, the Fleer E-X football set included this notable Drew Brees rookie card.
The base card has 1,000 copies, and holds good value, but the chase comes from the Essential Credentials parallel, which has just 29 copies.
The first 125 copies of the base card are autographed, with a hard-signed signature.
When Was Drew Brees’ Rookie Season?
Drew Brees’ rookie season was the 2001 NFL season – He was selected as the 32nd overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 2001 NFL Draft.
What Is The Most Valuable Drew Brees Rookie Card?
The most sought-after and valuable Drew Brees base rookie card is the 2001 Playoff Contenders Drew Brees Autograph (#124) card.
The card, in the highest grades (like PSA 10) has sold for well over $10k in the past.
What Is The Rarest Drew Brees Rookie Card?
The rarest Drew Brees base rookie card is the 2001 Titanium Drew Brees (#195) card, which includes a jersey patch. The card is serial numbered and limited to just 75 copies.
How Many Rookie Cards Does Drew Brees Have?
Drew Brees has 66 unique base rookie cards – That doesn’t include parallel versions and first-year insert cards.