Leaf announces Johnny Manziel as mystery redemption

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Leaf Metal Draft and Leaf Valiant released with a rare mystery redemption.

The company announced Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel – and latest Heisman Trophy Winner – will be the redemption.

The cards include 1-of-1 artwork with a cut signature. As an NCAA athlete, Manziel is not allowed to endorse cards for money. Leaf stated it acquired Manziel’s signatures from a third party.

“Leaf wishes to clarify that neither the cards, the use of the signatures included in the cards, nor the artwork, is sanctioned or endorsed by the personality, his university, or any other organization or licensing body,” Leaf CEO Brian Gray said in a press release. “The artwork is an original creation protected by the First Amendment.”

Manziel threw for 3,706 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a freshman.

Each card has been authenticated by PSA/DNA and each card includes an authentication sticker on back. Each card is also slabbed by Beckett Grading Services.

UPDATE: ESPN’s Darren Rovell spoke to Texas A&M’s director of compliance where he stated that Manziel informed them of the cards and that he did not authorize these cards to be made.

“He has not knowingly provided his autograph for use in these cards; and he will not receive any compensation from the sale of these cards,” David Batson told ESPN. “As for whether Texas A&M or Johnny Manziel must request that Leaf not sell these Mystery Redemption Cards, the answer is no because such a step is not necessary when a photo or painting is sold for private use.”

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor of Beckett Football. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook.

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13 comments

  1. craig 6 March, 2013 at 18:11

    On the Redemptions it says “2013 Draft Football HOT Rookie Cut Signature”,he is not a rookie he is still a sophomore in College!It is a nice idea.But I would rather wait for a on card Auto of his when he gets drafted.

  2. Ben 6 March, 2013 at 21:15

    “The artwork is an original creation protected by the First Amendment.”

    First Amendment doesn’t circumvent likeness rights.

  3. David Johnson 7 March, 2013 at 07:58

    This is definitely a little shady, and on the border for a lawsuit. I just hoped Leaf at least asked Manziel for permission, as he can give permission so long as he is not compensated and still be within the NCAA guidelines. It will be more interesting what happens once Leaf goes pro and whether he decides to sign an exclusive card deal then.

  4. card opinionator 7 March, 2013 at 14:37

    I predict the NCAA will shut this down within a week. Opens up too much of a can of worms for them.

  5. scott 7 March, 2013 at 15:22

    i just hope i get the redemption back before someone gets sued and they decide not to ship anymore cards. could you just imagine how much the price of that card will go up if only a few go out.

  6. reggie 7 March, 2013 at 15:59

    Scott,I would not expect it to lead to riches.Remember,soon he will play in the NFL and people will choose his on card autographs then cut photo autographs like these.

  7. JM 8 March, 2013 at 08:30

    People have lost likeness lawsuits for much less – they actually put his name on there as well. I can’t imagine Leaf would have any shot at winning a lawsuit.

  8. Benny 12 April, 2013 at 04:29

    Thanks for posting that link. Most interesting part to me was that he won’t lose his eligibility by receiving cash judgement from lawsuits arising from stuff like this. Finally a guy who risks life and limb so that everyone around him can get rich (while those same people see to it that he never sees a dime of it) has found a way to make a little money.

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