Will ‘Big Hit’ Crackdown Hurt Marketability Of Defensive Players?

What makes a defensive player more marketable?

If it’s big hits, does that mean that the NFL’s crackdownon the shots will affect the commercial potential of defensive players?


One marketing executive says no.

“Defensive players that get to the quarterback are the ones that are most rewarded,” that Howard Skall, a football marketing agent at CAA. “This is a league that revolves around the quarterback, protecting the quarterback and getting to the quarterback. So a player doesn’t have to land big hits to be considered marketable.”

Skall’s not fearful that his client, Washington Redskins client Brian Orakpo, will suffer from the NFL’s crackdown. Orakpo is in the last year of his deal with Nike , but he also has local deals with Verizon , Dairy Management Inc. and an exclusive autograph deal with GB Sports.

Defensive players certainly have to work harder to get the spotlight. In the top 25 jerseys sold from April through September, only five players played on defense. According to NFLShop.com, they were Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (#4), San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (#17), New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (#23) and Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware (#25).

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com