Flacco, Rice still popular off the field

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice remain among the most popular players in the league despite struggling through the worst season of their careers.

Flacco and Ray both made the NFL Players' top 50 player sales list, which is based on overall retail sales from March 1, 2013 through Feb. 28, 2014. Rice ranked No. 28, and Flacco was right behind him at No. 35.

Flacco's ranking seems respectable until you realize there are 13 quarterbacks who had more merchandise sold than him. Those in front of Flacco include Tony Romo, Eli Manning and even Ryan Tannehill.

Rice is the fifth-highest among running backs and third-best among AFC North players (only Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger were higher). The sales, however, only include the two weeks following Rice's domestic violence arrest.

The time frame accounts for the months following the Ravens' Super Bowl victory but also includes a season in which Flacco threw 22 interceptions and Rice averaged 3.1 yards per carry.

The list, which is released quarterly by NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the NFL Players Association, is based on total overall sales of all licensed products (including jerseys and T-shirts, player murals, figurines, framed photos and bobbleheads), from online and traditional retail outlets as reported by more than 70 NFLPI licensees.