Three New England Patriots rookies recently took a break from the offseason program and their initiation into the NFL by taking part in the annual NFLPA Rookie Premiere.
First-round pick Mac Jones, second-round selection Christian Barmore and fourth-round pick Rhamondre Stevenson were the Patriots' three representatives.
The NFL Players Association, in conjunction with its marketing and licensing business unit NFL Players Inc., announced the member of the Class of 2021 on Monday. The Patriots' total of three players tied for second-highest behind the four for the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings. Four other teams also had three representatives.
Per the NFLPA press release, "In its 27th year, the NFL Rookie Premiere presented by Panini America has represented a rite of passage for many of the game’s most marketable rookie stars to learn the business of football and jumpstart their endorsement careers.
"Rookie Premiere is customarily an exclusive trading card content and marketing event for presenting partner Panini America, along with a slate of other NFLPA partners. Players are selected as part of the Rookie Premiere class primarily by Panini America based on position, college performance, draft status as well as projected overall demand and marketability. All these factors impact a rookie’s trading card value, even before they have played a down in a game."
The rookie cards and autographs from this year’s class of players will be featured throughout Panini’s complete 2021 NFL trading card portfolio.
The event, traditionally held each summer in Los Angeles, went virtual for a second consecutive year because of COVID and the NFLPA hosted a private, virtual player-only program with insights from NFLPA partners and industry experts, including Panini America, Sleep Number and P&G, and talks from current and former players such as Emmitt Smith, Ryan Clark, Dak Prescott and Tyler Lockett.