Cards: Topps AAF 2019, Topps AAF 2019 Certified, Topps AAF 2019 Player Card, Topps AAF 2019 NOW, Topps AAF 2019 Future Stars
Acquired: 2019, EBay. 2019, TTM C/o Home
Sent: 7/15 Received: 7/23 (8 Days)
Dontez Ford started his college football career at Syracuse where he was initially classified as a free safety. After a year there, he transferred to Pitt in 2014. Injuries limited his experience at wide receiver, but in 2015 he had a solid year playing in all 12 games posting 26 receptions for 505 yards and 2 TDs. Over his college career he recorded 46 receptions for 843 yards and 5 TDs.
Dontez did not get drafted in 2016, but later signed a futures contract on January 1st, 2018 with the Detroit Lions. After being cut in September he joined the AAF San Diego Fleet. He immediately asserted himself in the offense during the Fleet’s preseason contest against Orlando when Dontez caught 11 of 11 targets for 114 yards and a TD.
Dontez provided to be the big play weapon that the offense needed to stretch defenses at the X position. Paired alongside Nelson Spruce, Dontez and Nelson both ranked inside the top 10 in receiving. – The only pair in the league to do so. Ford set league marks in his final game (WK 6- BIR) – catching 3 passes for 182 yards, and being immortalized in his own Topps NOW AAF card. His destruction of the Iron would have only been more complete if he hadn’t injured his ankle during the 3rd quarter of the game.
“Dontez is that guy, like Torry Holt, that guy at the X position that we could choreograph plays just for him. That normal play can turn into a huge play and he demonstrated that. He made so many really big plays for us tonight. It was just unfortunate that he couldn’t stay in. But that’s who he is. He’s going to have a heck of a career in the NFL. He’s top notch, no question.”– Mike Martz
San Diego Fleet Head Coach
Unfortunately the ankle injury sidelined Dontez the remainder of the AAF season- and without him in the lineup, the Fleet lost to Birmingham and sunk their last 2 games. Dontez caught 15 of 28 targets for 435 yards and a TD in 6 games.
Ford’s numbers are very interesting to study. In his week 5 contest against Salt Lake City– he did all his damage catching long bomb passes. In his complete evisceration of the Birmingham defense, Dontez zigged and zagged 122 of 182 yards after the catch- on 3 catches.
His rehab stretched into the ‘off season’, and he was not present for the XFL combines, however I would think based off of his production he will make a welcome addition to any of the new teams or back to the NFL.
I had bought Dontez’s Topps Certified card off of Ebay for 4 bucks and then a few days later Mark (Mark’s Signing Bonus) contacted me and told me that Dontez signed a card for him and threw in an extra! I went onto EBay immediately and got Ford’s Topps Now AAF card for super cheap and then sent his base card, Future Stars, and the Topps Now card out. Ford responded lightening fast to my request and threw in at first what I thought was another Certified autograph card.
However, if you look closely at the left card (Player issue) versus the right card (Topps Certified), there are some subtle differences. First, the left one on the front does not have the gradient fade that the right card has above the team logo. Second, the left card just above the marquee, has the words ‘PLAYER ISSUE’ on it. The right one says ‘TOPPS CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPH’. Finally on the back of the cards the word Autograph and the autograph witnessing blurb on the back is not present on the Player issue card.
It should be assumed then that the players were handed these cards after signing their own for whatever purposes that they wanted- and that they are initially unsigned. I’m glad that I recognized the differences between the two, as I suspect once the market bottoms out and then the certified stock disappears over the years, that more of the Player Issue cards will slip into the secondary market. At this time I am unsure as to which cards- if either- will hold any value.