Sports fans use social media websites such as Twitter to interact with fellow supporters and viewers, to learn about breaking news stories that are floated out there by beat and national reporters, and to keep up-to-date of the lives of their favorites athletes. Professional athletes such as those who play in the National Football League can do all of those things via Twitter, of course, but the website also serves as another way for these talented individuals to make money for themselves. Along with posting links via their Twitter pages, athletes are also able to expand their “brands” that they hope will live on long after they have played their final down of meaningful football.
There are several things that will affect how much companies are willing to spend on NFL players Tweeting out certain pieces of information and links. The amount of followers a NFL personality has obviously plays a role in how valuable his account is to entities. Even the most-beloved player in the league will only be able to bring in so much cash if he doesn't have a massive amount of followers. It is also important that a player and/or those in his camp are active on Twitter. Otherwise, the random endorsed Tweet that is sent out there by the account could get lost in the Internet wilderness.
The company Opendorse released the list of what were deemed to be the most valuable Twitter accounts in the NFL for 2015, and most of the names featured on it should not surprise any diehard fans of the sport. It is right now difficult to say what the future will hold for the person who is atop the list, as he is once again looking for work as of the posting of this piece. That man is nevertheless one of the most popular, not to mention most polarizing, athletes the NFL has seen in years, a player who may have run out of opportunities to prove critics of his performances on the field wrong.
10 Johnny Manziel - Cost Per Tweet: $6,120
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel will either be an incredible redemption story, or the former Johnny Football will be remembered as being a complete bust. There does not seem to be any middle road for the one-time Heisman Trophy winner. Manziel spent roughly three months in a rehabilitation facility following a terrible rookie year, but he had showed maturity and progress as a player during training camp sessions and preseason games until he had to be shut down because of tendinitis in his throwing arm. Will Manziel's Twitter page still be worth anything to companies a year from now? We shall see.
9 Richard Sherman - Cost Per Tweet: $7,410
It was in the summer of 2015 when television viewers first saw the Domino's commercial in which Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks discussed his love of using Twitter. You can't blame the guy for having such a relationship with his account considering the amount of money he can make via his personal page. Sherman is the type of athlete who was made for the social media world of chatter, as he can talk the talk with the best of them in the NFL. It doesn't hurt that Sherman can also back his words up with his play, as he is one of the best defensive backs in all of the league.
8 Russell Wilson - Cost Per Tweet: $7,660
Life has changed in oh-so many ways for the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson went from being somewhat of a forgotten man who was selected in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft to a Super Bowl champion. Wilson received quite the pay raise per the terms of his new player contract. He has been in headlines and tabloid stories due to his relationship with entertainment star Ciara. Seattle fans have embraced Wilson as one of their own, and the value of his Twitter account will only grow if he continues to have the Seahawks competing for championships on a yearly basis.
7 Aaron Rodgers - Cost Per Tweet: $9,100
Aaron Rodgers could put his resume up against those had by the other players mentioned in this piece. Rodgers is a Super Bowl champion and one of the greatest players in the history of the Green Bay Packers. He is arguably the best overall quarterback in the NFL today. He has been the star of those popular “Discount Double-Check” commercials that have aired during football seasons. That he is dating the beautiful Oliva Munn may just be icing on the cake. Rodgers has been successful on and off of the field, and he should still have many years of delighting football fans ahead of him.
6 Vernon Davis - Cost Per Tweet: $10,930
Widely regarded as one of the best tight ends in the NFL, the 2014 regular season was a little disappointing for Vernon Davis. 2015 may not be much better for Davis, but that will likely have more to do with the state of the San Francisco 49ers than because of anything that Davis will do as a player. The 49ers are in the middle of a franchise reset that have included a new coaching staff taking over, and the 31-year-old offensive weapon will be asked to carry much of the load for those around him. Never fear, Vernon, as your Twitter account is still valuable in the eyes of companies. You've got that going for you.
5 Larry Fitzgerald - Cost Per Tweet: $12,330
Any young player about to enter the NFL would be wise to examine how Larry Fitzgerald has conducted himself over the years. Along with being a true professional as a player, Fitzgerald is seen as one of the best people in all of the league. Fitzgerald routinely uses his Twitter account to interact with fans, and it is not rare for the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver to give merchandise or even tickets away via social media. Fitzgerald is a veteran of the business who is in the twilight of his career. He has been a joy to watch and to follow, and the NFL will be worse off when he does call time on his playing days.
4 Michael Vick - Cost Per Tweet: $12,400
There remain plenty of NFL fans who would like to see Michael Vick out of the league because of his involvement in a dog fighting ring that landed him behind bars years ago. Those who have, however, chosen to forgive the veteran quarterback still follow Vick on websites such as Twitter and still wish to see the player of old on the field. Vick is no longer a starting quarterback these days, and he may very well end his NFL career serving as a backup to Pittsburgh Steelers starter Ben Roethlisberger. Maybe, just maybe, Vick will get one more chance to make a difference on the field during a big game.
3 Drew Brees - Cost Per Tweet: $12,780
Drew Brees has done it all during his lengthy and impressive NFL career. Brees has taken home Most Valuable Player honors. He guided the New Orleans Saints to Super Bowl glory. He will, in the future, have his day at Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Brees has also been part of what has been an unintentionally funny advertising campaign, one that has involved the quarterback serving as a spokesman for motorcycles. There is just one catch: Brees cannot actually operate motorcycles per the terms of his NFL contract. That's OK, Drew. You can always joke about the matter on Twitter.
2 Reggie Bush - Cost Per Tweet: $16,990
Remember when Reggie Bush was seen as one of the most exciting offensive players in the NFL? Do you recall when Bush was dating the likes of Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose? Those were fun times. The 30-year-old running back may no longer be among your favorite fantasy football players, but Bush still remains a player capable of taking the ball to the house. Now on the roster of the San Francisco 49ers, Bush is a veteran in the league who is looking to prove that he can still be lightning in a bottle for an offense that is going to need all of the help that it can get in 2015. Bush has over 3 million followers on Twitter, and thus is it no wonder his account is so valuable.
1 Tim Tebow - Cost Per Tweet: $17,030
What you have to remember is that Tim Tebow was still on the roster of the Philadelphia Eagles when this list was released. The Eagles gave up on that experiment on September 5, and there are some analysts who believe that Tebow will never again throw a pass during a regular season game. Tebow still remains very popular among fans who continue to hold onto the hope that he will receive another opportunity to lead a pro offense, and he had around 3 million followers at the time that he received notice that the Eagles no longer needed his services. Has “Tebow Time” struck midnight? It looks like it.