In the world of football cards, there is so much emphasis put on the rookie. Specifically the running back has been the target of many prospectors. After watching Adrian Peterson cards go from $30 – $40 a card to thousands, everyone has been rushing out (no pun intended) to pick up the next stud running back.
Last year the list of rookie running backs included Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte and Ray Rice. All were considered coveted cards to have at the beginning of last year, with McFadden getting all the attention. By the end of the season, there was another name on that list and it was Steve Slaton of the Houston Texans. He was the 89th overall pick out of West Virginia and by week 3 he was the starting running back. From there he nearly smashed every single season / game rushing record in the Texans young history.
By the end of the season he had amassed 1282 yards (6th in the NFL) with 9 TDs. He also had 50 receptions and with all the accolades his cards were selling at an all time high. Entering this season he was considered a top 10 running back. As of yesterday he still had cards selling for almost $150 <link>. Well that is all going to change after yesterday’s performance.
You see Steve fumbled for the 7th time this season and coach Kubiak had enough. He pulled Slaton and inserted Ryank Moat, who put up over a buck twenty on a terrible Bills defense. When asked where Slaton was on the depth chart, Kubiak had no response. Usually that is not a good sign for whoever is being talked about. My guess is that they are going to split carries, but if Steve has any more misfires, it might be more slanted towards Ryan Moat.
As for Slaton’s cards, they still sell for a lot, but his top end autographs have definitely taken a hit. Which it should have, anytime a starter is bumped for a reserve, it is a red flag and a cause for concern. Right now you can pick up his cards from anywhere from $10 for just an autograph to $90+ for a patch card. Is it worth it? Not in my mind, at least for the higher end cards, but the cheaper ones, why not, he is a hell of a running back. Fumble problems can be corrected, you can teach his slashing running style. So why not. Here is a beautiful card that is going on the cheaper side <link>, featuring three of the best running backs from that draft class (along with Rice and Johnson).