15 Most Valuable 2000 Topps Football Cards
Though the checklist contains just 400 cards, the 2000 Topps football card set is loaded with star power.
Some of the biggest names in NFL history had just retired and others were on the downside of their storied careers.
Yet, others were just getting started...
And right in the middle of it all, this set delivered some great-looking cards to help capture such an exciting time for the NFL.
There's even a Hall of Fame rookie card of one of the most recognizable linebackers in league history.
For the collector looking for a well-balanced set, this one delivers.
And in this guide, we'll take a look at the 15 most valuable in the checklist.
Let's jump right in!
Let's be clear: most of the cards from this set do not have any value these days.
So, for the cards on this list to be worth much, they'll have to be graded by PSA to be in perfect, gem mint condition.
That means the card needs to be flawless.
Now that we got that out of the way, let's take a look at the list:
2000 Topps #383 Brian Urlacher Rookie Card
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $250
Selected ninth by the Chicago Bears in the 2000 Draft, Brian Urlacher's reputation as an athletic freak preceded him.
The previous year at New Mexico, the future Hall of Fame linebacker played safety and returned kicks for the Lobos.
And just for good measure, he was a lethal red-zone receiver with six scores to his name.
"If you go out and watch the kid practice, a kid of that size with that much speed and that much ability to change direction, you get pretty excited about him as soon as you see him," then-Bears vice president of personnel Mark Hatley said. "You turn on the lights and sideline-to-sideline, he sure makes a lot of plays. And he'll make some big hits."
If Hatley only knew.
The Bears saw Urlacher's six-four, 258-pound frame and instantly penciled him in as a middle linebacker.
They hoped that his smarts and explosiveness would make for a seamless adjustment.
Urlacher rewarded their judgment with one of the finest rookie seasons for a linebacker in NFL history.
After a rough Week 1 that temporarily knocked him down the depth chart, the 22-year-old took control.
A lone bright spot in a lost 5-11 season, Urlacher amassed 124 tackles and eight sacks in 2000, both Bears rookie records.
An easy choice for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, the future NFL All-Decade performer made an emphatic statement in his first pro season.
2000 Topps #40 Dan Marino
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $200
From 1983 to 1999, Dan Marino was the face of the Miami Dolphins franchise and a hero to the fans in South Florida.
A nine-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro, Marino is arguably the greatest player in NFL history never to win a Super Bowl ring.
Utilizing his incredibly quick release and canon for an arm, Marino would routinely shred opposing defensive secondaries with his laser-like passes.
Of all his fantastic seasons, though, Marino will always be remembered for his incredible sophomore season in 1984, when he set a record for passing yards (5,084) and touchdowns (48).
During Marino's final season in 1999, he'd go 5-6 with 2,448 yards and 12 touchdowns to help the Dolphins finish third in the AFC East at 9-7 while securing a Wild Card playoff birth.
In the Wild Card, Marino played admirably on the road at Seattle, throwing for 196 yards and one touchdown to help Miami squeak by with a 20-17 victory.
But things were very different in the Divisional Round at Jacksonville.
Marino struggled to get the offense going, throwing for just 95 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions as the Jags blew them out 62-7.
After considering offers from Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Minnesota during the offseason, Marino decided to retire ahead of the 2000 season.
Since this is Marino's last base Topps issue, it can fetch a hefty price in top condition.
2000 Topps #100 Peyton Manning
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $75
After just two seasons under center with the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning had already solidified himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
And with star running back Edgerrin James and wide receiver Marvin Harrison, the Colts began to expect Manning and the high-powered offense to bring playoff success.
The year before, Manning led the Colts to a first-place finish in the AFC East at 13-3 but Indianapolis lost 19-16 in a close Divisional Round game to the Tennessee Titans.
But things didn't go as smoothly during the 2000 season.
Manning increased his output to lead the NFL in passing yards (4,413) and touchdowns (33).
But the Colts fell to third in the AFC East, stumbling to a 10-6 record, just enough for a Wildcard birth.
Yet, despite three interceptions by quarterback Jay Fiedler, the Miami Dolphins edged the Colts 23-17 in front of 73,193 fans at Pro Player Stadium.
It was yet another setback for a young Peyton Manning, who was hungrier than ever to get some playoff traction.
He'd eventually see that playoff success, earning a Super Bowl ring with the Colts and Denver Broncos years later.
But as for his 2000 season, he'd have to settle for his second Pro Bowl and a fifth-place finish in MVP voting
2000 Topps #371 Shaun Alexander Rookie Card
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $75
On draft day in 2000, the Seattle Seahawks shipped receiver Joey Galloway to the Dallas Cowboys for the 19th overall pick, which they used on Shaun Alexander.
It would be one of the most charmed draft day trades in history.
Shaun Alexander came to Seattle with quite the resume.
While he never quite lived up to the Heisman hype, he did leave Alabama with 15 different program records, including career rushing yards (3,565).
Built like a bowling ball at 5-11, 225 pounds, Alexander used his low center of gravity to duck and dive through holes.
His unique combination of grace and force would eventually lead him to an MVP award and a spot on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's all-2000s team.
In 2000, though, Ricky Watters was standing in his way.
The five-time Pro Bowler ran for over 1,000 yards (1,242) for the sixth consecutive season, adding some punch to an otherwise lackluster 6-10 campaign.
Alexander was relegated to spot duty behind Watters, rushing 64 times for 313 yards and two touchdowns.
He tacked on five receptions for 41 yards.
It was a modest start.
But in 2001, things would be a lot different.
2000 Topps #10 Emmitt Smith
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $60
The Dallas Cowboys, led by their star running back Emmitt Smith, were an unstoppable dynasty in the early 1990s, with three Super Bowl wins from 1992-1995 to show for it.
But they were anything but that in the early 2000s.
Although Smith had achieved back-to-back Pro Bowl appearances in 1998 and 1999, the team had been on a downward slope in the previous years.
To compound their problems, the Cowboys were experiencing quarterback issues, with Troy Aikman suffering from multiple concussions.
As a result, the team had to rely heavily on Smith's run game, putting the future Hall of Famer under immense pressure.
Smith admirably answered the call, delivering his tenth consecutive 1,000+ yard rushing season (1,203) with nine touchdowns to boot.
Yet, the Cowboys were just too inconsistent overall with a below average offense and a sub-par defense.
Although the Cowboys had made it to the Wild Card round in the past couple of years, they fell to a disappointing 5-11 and out of playoff contention.
Interestingly, it was the first of three straight seasons they'd finish at 5-11.
2000 Topps #310 Jerry Rice
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $60
Entering his sixteenth season with the San Francisco 49ers, legendary wide receiver Jerry Rice was eager to bounce back to Pro Bowl form during the 2000 season.
That seemed like a tall order for a 38-year-old wide receiver.
But, if anyone could do it, Rice could do it.
Second-year quarterback Jeff Garcia played exceptionally well, with 4,278 yards and 31 touchdowns, good enough for his own Pro Bowl selection.
And Rice caught 75 of Garcia's 122 targets for 805 yards and seven touchdowns.
It was an impressive performance, but it wasn't enough to earn him another Pro Bowl appearance.
On another sour note, the 49ers still couldn't compare with previous years for the elite franchise, ending the season 6-10, far out of the playoff race.
Sadly, the 2000 season would be Rice's final year with the 49ers.
Yet, he still wasn't finished.
Rice soon signed with the Oakland Raiders and, amazingly, he'd return to Pro Bowl form with the black and silver in 2002 at 40 years old.
Perhaps as impressive as his ability to run routes and fool opposing defenders was Rice's durability.
Being a Pro Bowl wide receiver is one thing.
Doing it at 40 years old is another.
2000 Topps #112 Deion Sanders
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50
Released by the Dallas Cowboys in a cost-cutting move after the 1999 season, Deion Sanders was bound to land on his feet.
Coming off four consecutive All-Pro seasons, three of which were first-team honors, Sanders got his bag in a seven-year, $56 million pact with the Washington Redskins.
The deal also gave Sanders leeway to return to baseball, allowing him to skip training camp if necessary.
It was one heck of a deal for "Prime Time," yet it ended as a nightmare for Washington fans.
Sanders seemed listless and disinterested for long stretches on the field.
Open about potential retirement plans, he appeared to shy away from dishing out big hits, instead angling receivers to the boundaries.
From All-Pro standout to a shade below average, Sanders amassed four picks in his one and only year in DC.
He underperformed as a returner for 8-8 Washington, too, averaging just 7.4 yards on 15 punt returns.
Come the offseason, Deion made it clear he didn't want to return to Washington.
He played chicken with the front office and would have gotten out of training camp if the Cincinnati Reds hadn't cut him on July 17th.
Instead of reporting, Sanders retired, leaving the league for three seasons before resurfacing in Baltimore come 2004.
2000 Topps #1 Kurt Warner
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40
Defending regular season MVP and Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner was coming off one of the greatest seasons in NFL history as he entered the 2000 regular season.
However, after his breakout campaign in 1999, the star faced enormous pressure to prove that he was more than just a one-season wonder.
Yet, despite playing in just 11 games because of injuries, Warner erased all of those concerns, leading the league in completion percentage (67.7%) and a career-best yards-per-game (311.7).
Surprisingly, Warner also posted a career-worst 5.2% interception rate, a factor that would come back to haunt him in the playoffs.
Warner's Rams finished the season at 10-6, going 2-3 in games Warner did not play, proving his importance to the high-powered "Greatest Show On Turf" offense.
After clawing their way through the regular season, the Rams squared off against the New Orleans Saints in front of 64,900 screaming fans in the Superdome.
However, Warner struggled to keep the ball safe, continuing his turnover-heavy season with three interceptions and a fumble.
Despite his impressive 365 yards and three touchdowns, the turnovers combined with the Ram's subpar defense led to a 31-28 Saints victory.
2000 Topps #280 Troy Aikman
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40
The 2000 season was a dumpster fire in Dallas.
After the retirement of superstar wide receiver Michael Irvin due to a spinal injury, owner Jerry Jones was desperate to fill the gaping hole left behind.
He took a wild swing to do so, offering a ransom of two first-round picks to Seattle for Joey Galloway, a deal the Seahawks were all too quick to make.
Seattle management knew Galloway wasn't the #1 option Jones thought he was and were baffled when the Cowboys owner came calling with two prized picks.
To compound matters, Galloway tore a ligament in his left knee in Week 1, ending his debut season in minutes.
As the season fell into the mud, Troy Aikman gritted his teeth.
The three-time Super Bowl champ had long been at odds with Jones' methods and was tiring of the Cowboys circus altogether.
It got worse.
Aikman suffered the ninth and tenth concussions of his career, putting his future into question.
In the 11 games he did play, he threw twice as many picks (14) as he did touchdowns (7).
Rather than risking his health any further for an organization in turmoil, Aikman called it quits after the 2000 campaign, ending a sterling 12-year Hall of Fame journey on a depressing, sour note.
2000 Topps #20 Brett Favre
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35
After two disappointing seasons in a row, Brett Favre looked to return to the playoffs and once again establish himself and his Green Bay Packers as a powerhouse in the NFC.
Unfortunately, Green Bay stumbled through a 9-7 season to finish third in the NFC North and barely out of playoff contention.
It didn't help that the Packers' defense was a far cry from its mid-1990s form, though they did improve from 21st to 14th overall during the 2000 season.
On the offensive side, the Packers were slightly better at 11th overall, led by Favre's 3,812 yards and 20 touchdowns.
But his 16 interceptions left something to be desired, though that was the kind of output to be expected from the gunslinging Mississippi native.
Yet, without Favre, it's tough to imagine the Packers would've finished 9-7 after beginning the season at 5-7.
The gritty quarterback did all he could, leading the Packers to four victories down the stretch.
But it was one victory too little, as Green Bay missed the postseason by one game.
Favre would be left off the Pro Bowl roster for the third straight season, but brighter days were ahead for the future Hall of Famer.
2000 Topps #120 Steve Young
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30
Dan Marino wasn't the only Hall of Fame quarterback to hang it up after the 1999 NFL season.
After 15 seasons, three Super Bowl championships, seven Pro Bowls, two First-Team All-Pro selections, and seven Pro Bowls, legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young also opted for retirement.
But, Young's reasons for retirement were much more related to health concerns than anything else.
For years, concussions plagued Young as his penchant for frequently running with the ball opened him up to more big hits than a traditional quarterback.
And the concussion he endured in Week 3 of the 1999 season against the Arizona Cardinals was perhaps the most threatening.
Not only did it end his season abruptly, but it also set the wheels in motion for retirement.
On this particular play, 49ers running back Lawrence Phillips missed a block on a blitzing Aeneas Williams and the result was catastrophic.
Williams sent Young violently to the ground and, just like that, Young's season and career were over.
The 49ers were set to release Young ahead of the 2000 season, and even though the Denver Broncos showed interest, Young wisely prioritized his long-term health and retired.
2000 Topps #200 Marshall Faulk
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30
As if Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt weren't enough of a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators to deal with, the St. Louis Rams also had star running back Marshall Faulk in their arsenal.
And Faulk wasn't just a threat on the ground.
Faulk was a huge reason why the Rams offensive attack would become known as "The Greatest Show On Turf," as his dual-threat capabilities made them nearly unstoppable.
During the 1999 season, Faulk joined Roger Craig as the only players in NFL history (at the time) to turn in a 1,000-yard rushing (1,381) and receiving (1,048) season.
As impressive as his 1999 season, his 2000 season was arguably better.
His NFL-best 18 rushing touchdowns combined with his eight receiving touchdowns would give him a career-best 26 touchdowns in one season.
He'd also rip off 1,359 rushing yards while racking up another 830 through the air.
For the second straight season, Faulk would earn First-Team All-Pro honors while being named the AP Offensive Player of the Year.
But the MVP trophy finally set his season apart individually after finishing second in the vote to his teammate Kurt Warner in 1999 and 2001.
2000 Topps #378 Jamal Lewis Rookie Card
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $25
Selected fifth overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2000 NFL Draft, Tennessee running back Jamal Lewis came in with plenty of fanfare.
Considered by many to be the best halfback on the board, Lewis inked a six-year, $35.3 million deal on the day before training camp.
The dynamic young talent initially split snaps with Priest Holmes, but it took just four games for coach Brian Billick to see what he had and install Lewis as the team’s primary RB.
It was only up from there.
Finishing as the runner-up for the AP’s Offensive Player of the Year, Lewis rushed 309 times for 1,364 yards and six touchdowns.
He was also a crucial safety valve for quarterbacks Tony Banks and Trent Dilfer, catching 27 balls for 296 yards.
Buoyed by Lewis’ mad dashes and the league’s unquestioned #1 defense, the 12-4 Ravens secured a Wild Card berth.
It was a formula for success that paid dividends in January.
Lewis rushed for 110 yards and two scores in a 21-3 Wild Card round win over Denver.
He followed that up with a rushing TD in a 24-10 Divisional Game win over Tennessee and 100 yards from scrimmage in a 16-3 AFC Championship Game triumph.
In the Super Bowl, Lewis went for 103 and a score in a dominating 34-7 win over the New York Giants, netting the Ravens their first-ever Lombardi Trophy.
2000 Topps #60 Randy Moss
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $20
For the second time in just three years in the NFL, Randy Johnson led the league in receiving touchdowns (15) during the 2000 season.
The combination between Moss and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper was nearly unstoppable.
Having future Hall of Fame wide receiving Cris Carter lining up on the other side of the field from Moss sure didn't hurt.
By the time the season wrapped up, all three would be named Pro Bowlers.
Moss's 1,437 were good enough for fifth overall and would be his third most of his Hall of Fame career.
Interestingly, despite how incredible he was, Moss never led the NFL in receiving yards or receptions.
But he sure could get in the end zone.
And Moss's nose for scoring helped lead the Vikings to a first-place finish in the NFC Central at 11-5.
However, after cruising past the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round, Moss and the Vikings were annihilated by the New York Giants 41-0 in the NFC Championship.
The Giants defense picked off Culpepper three times during the game and amazingly held Moss to just two catches for 18 yards..
2000 Topps #264 London Fletcher Rookie Card
Estimated PSA 10 Value: $20
Though he would finish his career as a four-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champ, London Fletcher wouldn't earn Pro Bowl honors until his twelfth season in the NFL.
That's the kind of dedication and perseverance he brought to the game.
After setting a school record for tackles (202) during his senior year at John Carroll University and winning Division III Linebacker of the Year honors, Fletcher set his eyes on the 1998 NFL Draft.
Yet, somehow, Fletcher went undrafted despite his collegiate accolades and an impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Finally, in April 1998, the St. Louis Rams knocked on Fletcher's door, giving him his big NFL break by signing him to a one-year deal.
Fletcher appeared in all sixteen games for the Rams in 1998 and even started one game.
By 1999, Fletcher morphed into an everyday starter and helped lead the Rams to a 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.
Despite not making the Pro Bowl in 2000, it was arguably his personal best as he'd set career marks in interceptions (4), sacks (5.5) and solo tackles (106).
The 2000 season also marked the beginning of Fletcher's incredible streak of starting 215 consecutive games until he retired after the 2013 season.
2000 Topps Football Cards In Review
Overall, I think the 2000 Topps football card set offers a lot to love in the 400-card checklist.
Sure, some rookie cards in this set of guys like Shaun Alexander and Jamal Lewis could have been bigger had their careers sent them to Canton.
But the Brian Urlacher rookie card is a must-have that helps make up for it.
And the large lineup of stars and Hall of Famers adds a nice touch.
I especially like the assortment of big-name quarterbacks, as guys like Marino and Young had just retired and Aikman was on his last leg.
On the other hand, Favre and Warner were still going strong and Peyton Manning was in the very early stages of a phenomenal career.
There is just so much subtle history of an incredible era captured within this set.
Within the set were also several great subsets, including:
- Season Highlights (#321 - 330)
- Millenium Men (#331 - 340)
- NFL Europe Prospects (#341 - 360)
- Draft Picks (#361 - 400)
As I look through this set, I think the hobby treats it about right in that it doesn't get too much attention because of a lack of multiple Hall of Fame rookie cards.
But the star power keeps things interesting enough.