13 Most Valuable 1999 Topps Football Cards

Written By Ross Uitts

Last Updated: May 11, 2024

Open a set of 1999 Topps football cards and you'll find a bit of everything...

Hall of Fame rookie cards.

Hall of Fame superstars.

Hall of Fame retirees.

Even Hall of Fame snubs.

The 357-card checklist is loaded with history.

It was an exciting time in the NFL as some of the most legendary careers had ended and others were just getting started.

To help close out an exciting decade, Topps delivered a solid flagship football set in 1999.

And in this guide, we'll take a look at the 15 most valuable.

Let's jump right in!

1999 Topps #60 Dan Marino

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $150

The Dan Marino chapter of the Miami Dolphins' history book came to a close in 1999.

At 38 years old, the legendary quarterback suited up in aqua and orange for his seventeenth season with the franchise.

Through the first four weeks, Miami was sitting pretty with a 3-1 record.

However, things turned unexpectedly in Week 5 against the Patriots when Marino left with a shoulder injury after attempting only three passes.

One of those was a historically significant eight-yard completion that put Marino over the 60,000-yard career passing mark.

After missing the next five games, Marino finally returned in Week 12 with the Dolphins sporting a glistening 8-2 record.

Shockingly, they won only one of their final six games.

Their 9-7 record put them at third in the AFC East and was barely enough to squeak into the playoffs.

Marino threw for 196 yards and a touchdown in the Dolphins' Wild Card win at Seattle, giving the Hall of Famer his only postseason road win of his career.

Things couldn't have gone any worse in the Divisional Round against Jacksonville as their neighbors in North Florida blew them out 62-7.

Marino's time in Miami was up, and though he had offers from other teams to play in 2000, he decided to retire.

1999 Topps #60 Dan Marino Football Card

1999 Topps #200 Barry Sanders

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $125

From 1989 to 1998, Barry Sanders put on an unforgettable show.

Voted 1989 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Sanders hit the ground running (pun intended) during his first season, racking up 1,470 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

He continued delivering 1,000-yard seasons for the rest of his Hall of Fame career.

But after the 1998 season, Sanders had to decide whether he wanted to play in the NFL anymore.

The Lions were moderately successful during his ten seasons in Detroit, making five playoff appearances.

However, four of those postseason affairs ended in one-and-done Wild Card losses.

Outside of the 1991 season, where they were ultimately routed by the Washing Redskins 41-10 in the NFC Championship, the Lions had never found real success.

And Sanders grew tired of it.

Ahead of the 1999 season, he questioned if the Detroit organization was ever really serious about putting together a winning team.

Ultimately, with a legitimate chance of setting the all-time rushing record, Sanders shocked the NFL and retired.

1999 Topps #200 Barry Sanders Football Card

1999 Topps #269 Jerry Rice

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $125

After seven consecutive playoff berths and sixteen straight years with ten wins or more, the San Francisco 49ers ran head-first into a wall in 1999.

The Niners looked okay enough in the season's first quarter, putting a Week 1 blowout loss in Jacksonville behind them with three straight wins.

However, the wheels were already falling off.

Steve Young was knocked out for the year in Week 3 with a career-ending concussion.

Jeff Garcia did his best in Young's considerable shadow, but it was far from enough.

The 49ers lost eleven of their last twelve games to finish with a jarring 4-12 record.

One of GOAT wideout Jerry Rice's most disappointing seasons was buried in the muck of all this.

Rice struggled to get on the same page with Garcia, catching just 67 of 124 targets for 830 yards.

His 54% catch rate was his worst as a Niner, as were his five receiving touchdowns.

It was the beginning of the end of Rice's time by the Bay.

He'd end up a (bewildering) salary cap casualty following the 2000 NFL season.

1999 Topps #269 Jerry Rice Football Card

1999 Topps #349 Edgerrin James Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $75

In 1994, first-year Indianapolis Colts running back Marshall Faulk gashed his way to the league's Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year Award.

His replacement (and fellow Hall-of-Famer) five years later did the same.

The Colts sold high on Faulk two days before the 1999 NFL Draft, shipping him to the St. Louis Rams for a second and fifth-round pick.

His price tag was about to skyrocket after a second-team All-Pro nomination, and Indianapolis saw the opportunity to go younger and cheaper.

It was a wise move that paid off big time.

The Colts pivoted to Edgerrin James with the fourth pick of the Draft, a six-foot, 219-pound bruiser built for the team's run-heavy power scheme.

It took zero time for James to lock into place.

The University of Miami product was a perfect counterbalance to Peyton Manning, and his durability was one of the main reasons why the Colts reversed records from 3-13 in '98 to 13-3 in '99.

His 1,553 rushing yards placed him fourth on the all-time list for rookies, and his 2,139 yards from scrimmage still place second all-time for first-year backs.

However, he ran out of gas in January.

James lacked explosiveness in the Divisional Round against Tennessee, rushing 20 times for just 56 yards in a gutting 19-16 home loss.

1999 Topps #269 Jerry Rice Football Card

1999 Topps #354 Champ Bailey Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $75

A consensus All-American out of the University of Georgia, Champ Bailey was a ready-made #1 cornerback when he reported to his first NFL training camp.

Picked seventh overall by the Washington Redskins, Bailey quickly asserted himself as the best player on an otherwise sketchy Skins defense.

His athleticism and hands made the young star a nightmare for receivers of all sizes.

And his uncanny ability to sniff out routes blew up passing plays from the jump.

On October 17th against the Arizona Cardinals, Bailey put it all together with the most impactful game by a rookie corner in NFL history.

The youngest player to record three picks in a single contest, the 21-year-old singlehandedly annihilated the Cards in a 28-3 rout.

Bailey finished the year with five picks, 80 tackles (73 solo), 19 passes defensed, and a sack.

The league's second-best offense pushed the Redskins over the top and into a Wild Card spot.

The defense responded in kind, surrendering just 27 total points in two playoff games against Detroit and Tampa.

In his first two playoff contests, Bailey recorded four tackles and a crucial Wild Card Round pick.

Ironically enough, the offense ultimately failed Washington in a brutal come-from-ahead 14-13 Divisional Round loss to the Bucs.

1999 Topps #354 Champ Bailey Rookie Card

1999 Topps #90 John Elway

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $70

John Elway saved the best for last.

Despite enduring three Super Bowl losses in the 1980s, the Hall of Fame quarterback remained steadfast and determined.

But his chances at championship glory started looking pretty slim in the 90s.

After a disappointing 1991 AFC Championship loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Broncos' next chance at postseason success ended in a 1993 Wild Card loss to the Raiders.

A disheartening 27-30 Divisional Round loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 1996 season made things look incredibly bleak.

And then, all of a sudden, the Broncos were back-to-back Super Bowl Champions in 1997 and 1998.

After years and years of inching and crawling, Elway finally got his championship rings.

But at 38 years old, he opted against trying for a three-peat.

Several weeks after his second Super Bowl victory, Elway announced his retirement on May 2, 1999.

Elway left a legacy as one of the winningest and most legendary quarterbacks in NFL history.

Years after his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2004, Elway joined the Broncos in multiple managerial and operational capacities.

1999 Topps #90 John Elway Football Card

1999 Topps #343 Torry Holt Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $60

It's no coincidence that the opening of the "Greatest Show on Turf" came in Torry Holt's first three years as an NFL receiver.

One of the pioneers that paved the way for a new generation of speed-first wideouts, the seven-time Pro Bowler is perhaps the game's most glaring Hall-of-Fame snub.

Picked seventh overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 1999 Draft, Holt joined a deep offensive unit helmed by QB Trent Green.

The Rams seemed primed for a big turnaround one year off a rough 4-12 campaign.

It all fell apart when Green went down with an ACL tear in the preseason.

Enter Kurt Warner.

Warner's Cinderella story pushed the Rams to the franchise's first Super Bowl title.

And Holt was a pivotal contributor to the narrative.

A year before his breakout as the game's top receiver, Holt caught 52 balls for 788 yards and six touchdowns.

With Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk topping 1,000 receiving yards each, the NC State alum was a dangerous third option for the league's top passing attack.

Holt proved just as steady in the team's three-game run to a Super Bowl XXXIV victory, catching 20 of 27 targets for 242 yards and a score.

1999 Topps #343 Torry Holt Rookie Card

1999 Topps #50 Emmitt Smith

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50

As the focal point of the Cowboys dynasty that lasted for so much of the 90s, Emmitt Smith hoped to lead his team to one more Super Bowl in the decade.

However, it wasn't meant to be.

With an 8-8 record and a second-place finish in the NFC East, Dallas's better days were clearly behind them.

But they weren't terrible by any means.

Sporting the fifth-best defense and eleventh-best offense, the Cowboys lost four of those games by four points or less.

And they still managed to limp into the playoffs.

However, they were overmatched in the Wild Card against Minnesota, losing in a 27-10 blowout.

For his part, Smith did all he could, rushing for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Throughout the up-and-down season, Emmitt Smith was as steady as ever.

In 15 games, the Hall of Famer rushed for 1,397 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding 119 yards and 2 scores through the air.

For the eighth and final time in his storied career, Smith earned Pro Bowl honors.

1999 Topps #50 Emmitt Smith Football Card

1999 Topps #245 Troy Aikman

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50

Troy Aikman's eleventh season as the Dallas Cowboys' starting quarterback started with a Week 1 shootout against the division rival Washing Redskins.

At halftime, Aikman and crew headed to the locker room down 13-14.

And they came out flat in the second half.

Washington owned the third quarter, scoring three straight unanswered touchdowns.

Suddenly, with the flip of a switch, the Dallas Cowboys roared back in the fourth.

After Emmitt Smith ran one in from the one-yard line, Aikman hit wide receiver Michael Irvin for a couple of scores to send the game to overtime.

Aikman struck again in overtime, hitting Rocket Ismail on a 76-yard bomb to win it.

It was also the only five-touchdown game of his career.

Amazingly, he threw just five more touchdowns over the next seven games before sitting out Week 10 and 11.

After suiting up again in Week 12, Aikman would lead the Cowboys to a 20-0 win over the Miami Dolphins before finishing an up-and-down season at 7-7.

The Cowboys landed a Wild Card spot, but the Minnesota Vikings quickly knocked them out with a 27-10 victory.

1999 Topps #245 Troy Aikman Football Card

1999 Topps #329 Ricky Williams Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $45

All-American Heisman winner Ricky Williams had an iconic college career for the University of Texas Longhorns.

As a senior, Williams established a then-record 6,279 rushing yards.

With both speed and power, the San Diego native was seemingly unstoppable.

As you'd expect, the hype surrounding him was incredible heading into the 1999 NFL Draft.

Surprisingly, he wasn't the first running back taken off the board.

Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian took Edgerrin James at number four instead, sending shockwaves throughout the draft.

What happened next will forever live in draft history.

In a stunning move, the New Orleans Saints traded all their picks plus a first and third-round pick the following year to Washington to move up in the draft.

It was an enormous price tag to grab Williams with the fifth pick.

But one they were willing to pay.

Williams started 12 games in New Orleans his rookie season, averaging 73.7 yards per game with only 2 touchdowns.

A pre-season candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Williams also had three times more fumbles than touchdowns.

He'd go on to have several great seasons but only once made the Pro Bowl.

1999 Topps #329 Ricky Williams Rookie Card

1999 Topps #300 Peyton Manning

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

In his rookie year with the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning was handed the keys to a team with a broken engine.

The son of two-time Pro Bowler Archie Manning, Peyton appeared to have the arm and the field awareness to surpass his dad.

Manning finished second in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year balloting but forced a league-high 28 interceptions trying to jump-start a dead horse.

1998 was a wash.

In year two, Indianapolis surrounded him with the right pieces for a stunning sophomore season.

Manning helped elevate fourth-year receiver Marvin Harrison to Hall-of-Fame heights.

He also benefited greatly from Edgerrin James' monster rookie year.

The offense soared from 19th to 3rd in scoring, and the team reversed a 3-13 mark in '98 to a 13-3 record in '99.

Manning was the catalyst, finishing second in the league's MVP race and third in the league's Offensive Player of the Year balloting.

He completed 331 of his 533 passing attempts (62.1%) with 26 touchdowns against just 15 interceptions.

However, he stalled out in the team's 19-16 Divisional Round loss to Tennessee, completing under 50% of his passes for 227 yards and a lowly 66.7% passer rating.

1999 Topps #300 Peyton Manning Football Card

1999 Topps #250 Brett Favre

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

After four years of dominant performances, Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers took a step back in 1999.

Favre aired it out all season long, leading the league in attempts (595) for the first time in his career while tossing for 4,091 yards.

However, his accuracy suffered heavily.

Outside of his 2006 campaign, Favre's 57.3% completion percentage was the lowest he'd ever produced.

At times, the Hall of Famer looked rushed and like he had to force things more than usual.

Much to his disappointment, he ended the year with more interceptions (23) than touchdown passes (22).

Sure, he was known as a gunslinger.

But even gunslingers are bothered when their picks outpace their touchdowns.

As for the rest of the team, the Packers started strong with a 4-2 record, but a series of three-game losing streaks resulted in an 8-8 finish.

Mediocrity wasn't something Green Bay was familiar with at that point.

While a .500 record was enough to inch the Dallas Cowboys into playoff contention, the Packers weren't so lucky.

Ultimately, Brett Favre missed the playoffs for the first time as a starter since 1992.

1999 Topps #250 Brett Favre Football Card

1999 Topps #341 Donovan McNabb Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

In the moment, the Philadelphia Eagles’ third consecutive losing season drained the organization and fans alike.

In retrospect, it turned out to be a lucky break.

Philadelphia lost four in a row to open the ‘99 campaign, stumbling aimlessly into Week 10 with a 2-7 record.

The plan was to keep Doug Pederson as the starter for as long as possible, allowing second-overall pick Donovan McNabb to ease into the league in a part-time role.

After scoring 17 points or less in seven of their first nine, head coach Andy Reid sped up the timeline, inserting McNabb as QB1 for a needed shot in the arm.

The former Syracuse Orangeman was far from a finished product.

He lacked polish as a pocket passer, as evidenced by his 49.1% completion rate and seven interceptions in 12 games (seven starts).

Yet, there was undeniable electricity to his every movement, especially as a rushing threat.

McNabb carried the ball 47 times in his debut season for 313 yards, an impressive 6.7 yards per carry.

He adjusted on the fly, using his sudden promotion as a crucial learning experience.

The 23-year-old was not quite ready to lead the 5-11 Eagles back from the dead, but he was already ahead of his time.

1999 Topps #341 Donovan McNabb Rookie Card

1999 Topps #330 Daunte Culpepper Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30

Over four years as a quarterback for the UCF Knights, Daunte Culpepper broke nearly every school record imaginable.

Not only did he possess a cannon for an arm, but he could also run.

By the end of his senior season, Culpepper joined an elite club of players with more than 10,000 passing and 1,000 rushing yards.

Soon after, the Florida native would leave the sunshine behind and head north to Minnesota.

Though they already had a Pro Bowl quarterback in Randall Cunningham, the Vikings looked to the future and drafted Culpepper with the 11th pick of the '99 Draft.

However, Culpepper looked to have a shot at starting much sooner than expected.

Despite finishing second in the 1998 MVP race and leading the NFL with an eye-popping 8% touchdown rate, Cunningham struggled mightily.

Over the first six games, he threw 8 touchdowns against 9 picks, and the Vikings were 2-4, including losses to division rivals Green Bay, Chicago, and Detroit.

Minnesota benched Cunningham.

But instead of Culpepper, the team turned to back-up Jeff George to right the ship towards a 10-6 finish.

However, beginning in 2000, Culpepper would be their starter for six seasons.

1999 Topps #330 Daunte Culpepper Rookie Card

1999 Topps #318 Randy Moss

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30

Following his remarkable rookie season with the 15-1 Vikings, wide receiver Randy Moss stepped into his sophomore season with an air of anticipation.

Fans and critics alike eagerly awaited his next move.

In 1998, Moss wowed the NFL with one of the league's best rookie receiving performances of all time.

He didn't just perform, he dominated.

Like a seasoned veteran, he torched opposing secondaries, amassing an impressive 1,313 yards and an NFL-best 17 touchdowns.

Was it a fluke?

Or was he the real deal?

In 1999, Moss answered that question with another resounding display of receiving fireworks.

Though his yards per catch dipped from 19 to 17.7, his targets and catch rate both improved.

As a result, Moss reeled in 80 passes for 1,413 yards, one of the highest totals of his career.

He wasn't quite the scoring machine he was the previous season, with his touchdowns dropping from 17 to 11.

But much of that was due to his Vikings teammate, Cris Carter, who led the NFL with 13 touchdown catches.

All together, Moss's second year in the league was a success, earning him a second trip to the Pro Bowl.

1999 Topps #318 Randy Moss Football Card

1999 Topps Football Cards In Review

The rookie card class in this set has to be one of the most memorable of the 1990s.

At the time, Ricky Williams seemed like the guy who would end up with the biggest rookie card in the set.

But, it wasn't meant to be.

While he still had a solid career, fellow rookies like Edgerrin James and Champ Bailey had incredible Hall of Fame careers.

And guys like Torry Holt and Donovan McNabb probably got snubbed from Canton.

Aside from the rookie cards, the Barry Sanders and John Elway cards are also important, given they were their last base cards are also key.

Throw in Dan Marino's last base card from his playing days and you've got a heck of a checklist.

Unopened Box of 1999 Topps Football Cards

Other information about this set includes:

Checklist: 357 cards 

Distribution: One Series


  • Transactions (throughout checklist)
  • Season Highlights (#314 - 323)
  • Expansion Draft (#324 - 328)
  • Draft Picks (#329 - 355)

Insert Sets

  • All Matrix
  • Autographs
  • Hall of Fame Autographs
  • Hall of Fame Class of 1999
  • Hall of Fame Class of 1999 Foil Banner
  • Jumbos
  • MVP Promotion
  • Mystery Chrome
  • Mystery Chrome Refractors
  • Picture Perfect
  • Record Numbers Gold
  • Record Numbers Silver
  • Season's Best

I enjoy this set for the rookie cards and all of the historical context surrounding it.

Big changes were occurring in the NFL in 1999 and this set is a great way to relive it as you scan through the 357-card checklist.

It's a decent value given how much history is packed inside.