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Uncertainty Surrounds Marvin Harrison Jr.'s NFL Card and Autograph Rights

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After being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, Marvin Harrison Jr. finds his NFL-related trading card and autograph rights in a state of limbo. Despite a prior licensing deal with Fanatics, his NFL Players Inc. group licensing agreement remains unsigned.

Marvin Harrison Jr., the recent NFL draftee to the Arizona Cardinals, is facing uncertainty regarding the rights to his trading cards and autographs as he transitions from college football at Ohio State to the professional stage. Before his final year at Ohio State, Harrison signed a multi-year agreement with Fanatics, but his professional merchandising rights are now in question.

ESPN reports that Harrison has yet to sign with NFL Players Inc., the licensing arm that manages the collective marketing of NFL players' rights. This agreement is necessary for players to be included in NFL-licensed merchandise, including trading cards and team jerseys. The current delay is reportedly due to Harrison seeking a more favorable financial deal to renew his contract with Fanatics.

This contract with Fanatics initially covered various aspects such as autographs, trading cards featuring his image, and game-worn apparel. Last season, Harrison was included in the Topps’ Bowman U line, and his sticker autographs were available in these packs.

Should Harrison finalize a new agreement with Fanatics, it is expected that Topps, which is now part of Fanatics, would produce his NFL trading cards and autographs. This could potentially exclude his autographs from appearing in Panini's trading card packs, as Fanatics typically negotiates exclusive deals.

This scenario is reminiscent of CJ Stroud's situation, another Ohio State alumnus and current Houston Texans quarterback, who signed exclusively with Fanatics but also made a deal with the NFLPA's marketing arm. This arrangement allowed Panini to feature Stroud in their card lines, but only Fanatics/Topps had the rights to his autograph cards once he entered the NFL.

Meanwhile, Harrison continues to engage with his fanbase by selling autographed merchandise directly through his personal website, offering items such as jerseys, helmets, and footballs, even as his official NFL merchandising status remains unresolved.

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