2021 Panini Contenders Optic Football Preview

Another addition to the late, late, late postseason NFL trading card lineup is slated to arrive next month with 2021 Panini Contenders Optic Football.  The shiny brother to regular Contenders, Optic will once again offer six cards per pack with one pack per box and 20 boxes per case.  A typical box will have two autographs, one parallel, one insert and two base cards.

Panini is touting on-card autographs of rookies like Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Ja’Marr Chase and others.

Base cards (“Season Tickets”) will offer a variety of parallels including:

Red #’d /175
Blue #’d /99
Orange #’d /50
Green Pulsar #’d /30
Cracked Ice #’d /22
Red White & Blue #’d /13
Nebula #’d /2
Gold Vinyl #’d 1/1

Rookie Tickets will have these parallels:

Red #’d /175
Bue #’d /99
Orange #’d /50
Green Pulsar #’d /30
Cracked Ice #’d /22
Gold #’d /10
Nebula #’d /2
Gold Vinyl #’d 1/1

Panini is promising “more rookies than ever before” in Optic.  

Rookie Ticket Autographs, a staple of the Contenders brand are back.  New this year is a Red, White and Blue parallel that’s numbered to only 13 copies.  Other parallels include:

Red max #’d/149
Teal max #’d/99
Blue max #’d/75
Orange max #’d/50
Green Pulsar max #’d/30
Cracked Ice max #’d/22
Nebula #’d/2
Gold Vinyl – 1/1

Another option for rookie autographs is the Rookie of the Year Contenders subset, which comes with several parallel options including:

Blue max #’d /75
Orange max #’d /50
Green Pulsar max #’d /30
Black Scope max #’d /25
Gold max #’d /10
Nebula max #’d /2
Gold Vinyl – 1/1

Still more first year ink comes in the form of 2001 Contenders Throwback Rookie Autographs, done on the same designed used 20 seasons earlier.

Contenders Tribute Tickets are a blast from the past and feature 2012 rookie Andrew Luck, “remastered and printed using Opti-Chrome technology,” according to Panini.

New inserts this year include Up and Coming, Optic Illusion, and Splitting Image. They’ll be joined by old favorites MVP Contenders, All-Time and Winning Tickets.

The release date for 2021 Panini Contenders Football is currently June 17.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for over 35 years and a collector for even longer than that, he’s usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected]

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