Product: 2013 Contenders Football
Break Date: January 20, 2014
Hit Breakdown: One autograph per blaster (?)
Summary: Panini did all the things right with 2013 Contenders blasters. They lowered the price from $29.99 to $19.99, for starters. $29.99 is steep for a blaster.
Two, they basically guaranteed an auto in each box this year. While early returns across message boards have shown that hits aren't coming in every box, it seems to be about 80-90% of the time.
The cards themselves look great this year - the inserts are really attractive (especially the Rookie of the Year and Legendary Contenders sets), and the base design is strong as well.
Unfortunately, the rookie autos I pulled weren't what I was hoping for – two defensive players.
Therein lies the overarching issue with Contenders - the auto line-up is DEEP, so you've got a real good shot at pulling some 6th round offensive lineman who never makes any sort of impact.
But, at the end of the day, there's not a lot to complain about. It's a fun break considering the price point, as it's hard to get bent out of shape about a guaranteed auto for $20. Contenders retail is a pretty strong product, and would be stronger with a better rookie class - it will be interesting to see if Panini keeps the price tag down next year, when the draft class projects to be considerably stronger..
Grade for the product: A-
Grade for the break: B-
What we pulled:
Rookie Autographs: Kevin Minter
Legendary Contenders: Brett Favre
MVP Contenders: Tom Brady
Touchdown Tandems: Ryan Tannehill/Mike Wallace
Round Numbers: Rex Burkhead/Theo Riddick
Rookie Autographs: D.J. Fluker
Rookie of the Year Contenders: Eddie Lacy
Draft Class: Markus Wheaton
Touchdown Tandems: Russell Wilson/Golden Tate
Round Numbers: Johnathan Franklin/Quinton Patton