2017 WalterFootball.com NFL Awards: 18th Annual



The 18th-annual WalterFootball.com Awards are here! Stay tuned for a 2018 NFL Mock Draft update in a couple of days. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.





M.V.P. - Tom Brady, Patriots.

Carson Wentz would've been my MVP had he stayed healthy. Unfortunately he tore his ACL, which made this close call so much easier. Tom Brady, despite being 40, is still somehow the best quarterback in the NFL. He led the Patriots to their eighth Super Bowl appearance under this current administration, which is just remarkable. Another thing to consider is that the Patriots' defense caught a lot of flak during the early stages of the season because it surrendered 33 or more points in three of its first four games. Yet, the Patriots still finished 13-3, thanks mostly to Brady, who claims his sixth MVP award on this Web site.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
2015: Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
2014: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
2013: Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
2012: Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
2011: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
2010: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
2009: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
2008: Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals
2007: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
2006: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers
2005: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
2004: Michael Vick, QB, Falcons
2003: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
2002: Michael Vick, QB, Falcons
2001: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
2000: Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles


Quarterback of the Year - Tom Brady, Patriots.

The best quarterback is usually the MVP, and as mentioned earlier, Tom Brady is the best player at his position at the moment. Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz may have been in contention to win this award, but both missed extensive time with injuries, and neither was available for their team at the end of the season. Brady threw for more yards than any other quarterback (4,577), and only two (Russell Wilson, Wentz) had more passing touchdowns.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Matt Ryan, Falcons
2015: Cam Newton, Panthers
2014: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2013: Peyton Manning, Broncos
2012: Peyton Manning, Broncos
2011: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2010: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2009: Peyton Manning, Colts
2008: Drew Brees, Saints
2007: Tom Brady, Patriots
2006: Drew Brees, Saints
2005: Carson Palmer, Bengals
2004: Peyton Manning, Colts
2003: Peyton Manning, Colts
2002: Rich Gannon, Raiders
2001: Kurt Warner, Rams
2000: Peyton Manning, Colts


Running Back of the Year - Todd Gurley, Rams.

Le'Veon Bell was the runner up for this award, so let's compare him to the winner, Todd Gurley. Bell had 1,291 rushing yards, good for third-most in the NFL. Gurley eclipsed Bell with 1,305 rushing yards, despite carrying the ball 42 fewer times! Bell's 85 receptions were terrific, but Gurley was also a big factor in the passing attack, registering 64 receptions. The biggest difference had to do with how many times each found the end zone. Bell scored 11 times, while Gurley registered a whopping 19 touchdowns.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
2015: Adrian Peterson, Vikings
2014: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
2013: Jamaal Charlies, Chiefs
2012: Adrian Peterson, Vikings
2011: Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
2010: Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
2009: Chris Johnson, Titans
2008: DeAngelo Williams, Panthers
2007: Brian Westbrook, Eagles
2006: LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
2005: Larry Johnson, Chiefs
2004: Curtis Martin, Jets
2003: LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
2002: Priest Holmes, Chiefs
2001: Marshall Faulk, Rams
2000: Marshall Faulk, Rams


Wide Receiver of the Year - Antonio Brown, Steelers.

Antonio Brown is the unquestionable winner of this award. DeAndre Hopkins is probably second, yet Brown registered nearly 200 more yards than Hopkins did despite missing the final handful of games during the season. Granted, Brown had a superior quarterback than Hopkins for half the season, but he made so many jaw-dropping plays during the year. Brown logged 101 catches for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Julio Jones, Falcons
2015: Antonio Brown, Steelers
2014: Antonio Brown, Steelers
2013: Josh Gordon, Browns
2012: Calvin Johnson, Lions
2011: Calvin Johnson, Lions
2010: Roddy White, Falcons
2009: Andre Johnson, Texans
2008: Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
2007: Randy Moss, Patriots
2006: Marvin Harrison, Colts
2005: Steve Smith, Panthers
2004: Muhsin Muhammad, Panthers
2003: Randy Moss, Vikings
2002: Marvin Harrison, Colts
2001: Terrell Owens, 49ers
2000: Randy Moss, Vikings


Tight End of the Year - Rob Gronkowski, Patriots.

Rob Gronkowski is basically locked into winning this award every single year he's healthy. Gronkowski stayed on the field for most of the season and finished with 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. He's a tremendous downfield force, and he also happens to be a strong blocker. The Patriots looked lost in one of the two games he missed, losing to Jay Cutler and the Dolphins.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Travis Kelce, Chiefs
2015: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
2014: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
2013: Jimmy Graham, Saints
2012: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
2011: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
2010: Jason Witten, Cowboys
2009: Dallas Clark, Colts
2008: Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs
2007: Jason Witten, Cowboys
2006: Antonio Gates, Chargers
2005: Antonio Gates, Chargers
2004: Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs
2003: Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs
2002: Todd Heap, Ravens
2001: Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs
2000: Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs






Offensive Tackle of the Year - Lane Johnson, Eagles.

For the first time since 2010, Joe Thomas is not the winner of this award. Thomas was on track to claiming it, but he missed the second half of the season with an injury. This was a trend for left tackles this season, as the other candidate for this award, David Bakhtiari, also missed several contests. Jason Peters, Tyron Smith and Duane Brown also missed time. Thus, I'm going to give this award to Lane Johnson, the best right tackle in the league. I'm not crazy about having a right tackle winning this, but Johnson could also play on the blind side if he needed to.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Joe Thomas, Browns
2015: Joe Thomas, Browns
2014: Joe Thomas, Browns
2013: Joe Thomas, Browns
2012: Joe Thomas, Browns
2011: Joe Thomas, Browns
2010: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets
2009: Joe Thomas, Browns
2008: Michael Roos, Titans
2007: Matt Light, Patriots
2006: Tarik Glenn, Colts
2005: Walter Jones, Seahawks
2004: Walter Jones, Seahawks
2003: Jonathan Ogden, Ravens
2002: Willie Roaf, Chiefs
2001: Orlando Pace, Rams
2000: Jonathan Ogden, Ravens


Offensive Guard of the Year - Zack Martin, Cowboys.

It was a close call between Zack Martin and David DeCastro, but Martin was a bit better. You can't go wrong with either one, really, but Martin had to step up in the wake of injuries to Tyron Smith.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Zack Martin, Cowboys
2015: Marshal Yanda, Ravens
2014: Marshal Yanda, Ravens
2013: Josh Sitton, Packers
2012: Evan Mathis, Eagles
2011: Carl Nicks, Saints
2010: Josh Sitton, Packers
2009: Jahri Evans, Saints
2008: Kris Dielman, Chargers
2007: Steve Hutchinson, Vikings
2006: Steve Hutchinson, Vikings
2005: Alan Faneca, Steelers
2004: Alan Faneca, Steelers
2003: Will Shields, Chiefs
2002: Ron Stone, 49ers
2001: Alan Faneca, Steelers
2000: Randall McDaniel, Buccaneers


Center of the Year - Travis Frederick, Cowboys.

Man, I was wrong on Travis Frederick. The Cowboys still could've obtained him later than they did in the draft, but they shouldn't have any regrets about "reaching" for him just a bit because he has emerged as the top center in the NFL. He's equally proficient in pass and run blocking, and he's once again the top center in the NFL.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Travis Frederick, Cowboys
2015: Travis Frederick, Cowboys
2014: Nick Mangold, Jets
2013: Dominic Raiola, Lions
2012: John Sullivan, Vikings
2011: Nick Mangold, Jets
2010: Nick Mangold, Jets
2009: Nick Mangold, Jets
2008: Kevin Mawae, Titans
2007: Jeff Saturday, Colts
2006: Olin Kreutz, Bears
2005: Jeff Hartings, Steelers
2004: Kevin Mawae, Jets
2003: Kevin Mawae, Jets
2002: Kevin Mawae, Jets
2001: Olin Kreutz, Bears
2000: Tom Nalen, Broncos




4-3 Defensive End of the Year - Calais Campbell, Jaguars.

Calais Campbell is technically a defensive end, despite being 6-8, 300 pounds. Campbell is a freak of nature; despite his size, he was second in the NFL in sacks (14.5), trailing only Chandler Jones' 17, and Jones can't qualify for this award because he's a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Khalil Mack, Raiders
2015: Michael Bennett, Seahawks
2014: Michael Bennett, Seahawks
2013: Robert Quinn, Rams
2012: J.J. Watt, Texans (3-4)
2011: Jared Allen, Vikings
2010: Julius Peppers, Bears
2009: Jared Allen, Vikings
2008: Jared Allen, Vikings
2007: Jared Allen, Chiefs
2006: Jason Taylor, Dolphins
2005: Dwight Freeney, Colts
2004: Julius Peppers, Panthers
2003: Michael Strahan, Giants
2002: Jason Taylor, Dolphins
2001: Michael Strahan, Giants
2000: Jason Taylor, Dolphins


3-4 Defensive End of the Year - Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Steelers.

J.J. Watt looked like he was going to win this award, but he suffered a season-ending injury in October. Cameron Heyward will claim the award instead, and it's well deserved. Heyward won Defensive Player of the Week twice this past season, and he finished with 12 sacks, which is a strong number for someone at his position.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Calais Campbell, Cardinals
2015: J.J. Watt, Texans
2014: J.J. Watt, Texans
2013: J.J. Watt, Texans
2012: J.J. Watt, Texans


Defensive Tackle of the Year - Aaron Donald, Rams.

Aaron Donald was once again an absolute force at defensive tackle. He notched 11 sacks in 2017, a very high number for an interior lineman, and he also stuffed the run exceptionally well. Donald has shown the ability to single-handedly dominate a game. He pressured Matt Ryan on half of his drop-backs in his playoff debut.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Aaron Donald, Rams
2015: Aaron Donald, Rams
2014: Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers
2013: Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers
2012: Geno Atkins, Bengals
2011: Justin Smith, 49ers
2010: Kyle Williams, Bills
2009: Kevin Williams, Vikings
2008: Albert Haynesworth, Titans
2007: Albert Haynesworth, Titans
2006: Tommie Harris, Bears
2005: Casey Hampton, Steelers
2004: Jamal Williams, Chargers
2003: Kris Jenkins, Panthers
2002: Warren Sapp, Buccaneers
2001: Warren Sapp, Buccaneers
2000: Warren Sapp, Buccaneers


3-4 Outside Linebacker of the Year - Von Miller, Broncos.

As mentioned earlier, Chandler Jones led the NFL in sacks with 17. However, his run defense wasn't up to par with some of the top 3-4 outside linebackers in the NFL. Von Miller, on the other hand, had seven fewer sacks, but was the better all-around player at the position. Miller is the best 3-4 rush linebacker in the NFL.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Von Miller, Broncos
2015: Von Miller, Broncos
2014: Justin Houston, Chiefs
2013: Robert Mathis, Colts
2011: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys
2010: Clay Matthews, Packers
2009: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys
2008: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys
2007: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys
2006: Shawne Merriman, Chargers


4-3 Outside Linebacker of the Year - Telvin Smith, Jaguars.

Sean Lee would've won this award, but missed too many games. This came down to Lavonte David and Telvin Smith as a result. Both were exceptional and definitely deserve this award. The tie-breaker is the success of their respective teams, so I'm going to name Telvin Smith the top 4-3 outside linebacker in the NFL.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: K.J. Wright, Seahawks
2015: Jamie Collins, Patriots
2014: Von Miller, Broncos
2013: Lavonte David, Buccaneers
2012: Von Miller, Broncos
2005: Cato June, Colts
2004: Takeo Spikes, Bills
2003: Keith Bulluck, Titans
2002: Derrick Brooks, Buccaneers
2001: Jamir Miller, Browns
2000: Derrick Brooks, Buccaneers


Inside Linebacker of the Year - Bobby Wagner, Seahawks.

This was a close call between Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly. Both teams were winless in the games those players missed. Wagner is a bit better in coverage than Kuechly, while Kuechly is slightly superior in run support. I'd save coverage is a tad more important than run defense in the current NFL.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Bobby Wagner, Seahawks
2015: Luke Kuechly, Panthers
2014: Luke Kuechly, Panthers
2013: NaVorro Bowman, 49ers
2012: Patrick Willis, 49ers
2011: Patrick Willis, 49ers
2010: Lawrence Timmons, Steelers
2009: Patrick Willis, 49ers
2008: Ray Lewis, Ravens
2007: Lofa Tatupu, Seahawks
2006: Brian Urlacher, Bears
2005: Brian Urlacher, Bears
2004: Tedy Bruschi, Patriots
2003: Ray Lewis, Ravens
2002: Zach Thomas, Dolphins
2001: Brian Urlacher, Bears
2000: Ray Lewis, Ravens


Cornerback of the Year - Jalen Ramsey, Jaguars.

This is now three Jaguars who have won a defensive award, which should not be surprising, considering how dominant their stop unit was this past season. They owned the league's top pass defense, thanks in major part to Jalen Ramsey's shutdown coverage.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Janoris Jenkins, Giants
2015: Josh Norman, Panthers
2014: Richard Sherman, Seahawks
2013: Richard Sherman, Seahawks
2012: Richard Sherman, Seahawks
2011: Darrelle Revis, Jets
2010: Tramon Williams, Packers
2009: Darrelle Revis, Jets
2008: Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders
2007: Antonio Cromartie, Chargers
2006: Champ Bailey, Broncos
2005: Champ Bailey, Broncos
2004: Nate Clements, Bills
2003: Ty Law, Patriots
2002: Bobby Taylor, Eagles
2001: Aeneas Williams, Rams
2000: Samari Rolle, Titans


Free Safety of the Year - Harrison Smith, Vikings.

Harrison Smith was exceptional this past season, both in pass coverage and run defense. He was the heart, soul and brains of Minnesota's terrific defense. In fact, Smith was so good that I argued that he should be an MVP candidate despite the fact that he's not a quarterback.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Devin McCourty, Patriots
2015: Eric Berry, Chiefs
2014: Eric Weddle, Chargers
2013: Jairus Byrd, Bills
2012: Jairus Byrd, Bills
2011: Eric Weddle, Chargers
2010: Nick Collins, Packers
2009: Darren Sharper, Saints
2008: Ed Reed, Ravens
2007: Sean Taylor, Redskins
2006: Brian Dawkins, Eagles
2005: Bob Sanders, Colts
2004: Brian Dawkins, Eagles
2003: Roy Williams, Cowboys
2002: Rod Woodson, Raiders
2001: Brian Dawkins, Eagles
2000: Darren Sharper, Packers


Strong Safety of the Year - Landon Collins, Giants.

Landon Collins didn't perform very well as a rookie, struggling mightily in coverage. A year made a huge difference, as Landon Collins was the top strong safety in 2016. That happened to be the case this past season. That said, I would've given this award to Kam Chancellor had he stayed healthy the entire year.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Landon Collins, Giants
2015: T.J. Ward, Broncos
2014: Kam Chancellor, Seahawks
2013: Kam Chancellor, Seahawks
2012: Reshad Jones, Dolphins
2011: Troy Polamalu, Steelers
2010: Troy Polamalu, Steelers
2009: Bernard Pollard, Texans
2008: Troy Polamalu, Steelers
2007: Bob Sanders, Colts
2006: Troy Polamalu, Steelers
2005: Troy Polamalu, Steelers
2004: Ed Reed, Ravens
2003: Ed Reed, Ravens
2002: Lance Schulters, Titans
2001: Mike Brown, Bears
2000: John Lynch, Buccaneers


Kicker of the Year - Matt Bryant, Falcons.

If it weren't for Adam Vinatieri, we'd all be marveling about how inexplicable it is that Matt Bryant can be so effective despite being into his 40s. Matt Bryant drilled a ridiculous 8-of-9 field goals from 50-plus in 2017. He also didn't miss a single extra point, which is something that the likes of Greg Zuerlein, Stephen Gostkowski and Chris Boswell can't say.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Justin Tucker, Ravens
2015: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots
2014: Matt Bryant, Falcons
2013: Justin Tucker, Ravens
2012: Blair Walsh, Vikings
2011: David Akers, 49ers
2010: Matt Bryant, Falcons
2009: Garrett Hartley, Saints
2008: Jason Hanson, Lions
2007: Rob Bironas, Titans
2006: Adam Vinatieri, Colts
2005: Neil Rackers, Cardinals
2004: Adam Vinatieri, Patriots
2003: Mike Vanderjagt, Colts
2002: Adam Vinatieri, Patriots
2001: Adam Vinatieri, Patriots
2000: Matt Stover, Ravens


Special Teams Player of the Year - Jamal Agnew, Lions.

I was hesitant to give this award to Jamal Agnew because he committed three fumbles, but he was the only player in the NFL with multiple touchdown returns. A fifth-round rookie out of San Diego, Agnew has a bright future ahead of himself as a return specialist if he can hang on to the football.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Tyreek Hill, Chiefs
2015: Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
2014: Darren Sproles, Eagles
2013: Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings
2012: Jacoby Jones, Ravens
2011: Patrick Peterson, Cardinals
2010: Devin Hester, Bears
2009: Joshua Cribbs, Browns
2008: Johnnie Lee Higgins, Raiders
2007: Devin Hester, Bears
2006: Devin Hester, Bears
2005: Jerome Mathis, Texans
2004: Eddie Drummond, Lions
2003: Dante Hall, Chiefs
2002: Michael Lewis, Saints
2001: Troy Brown, Patriots
2000: Derrick Mason, Titans


Offensive Rookie of the Year - Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints.

Kareem Hunt looked like he was going to be the clear-cut Offensive Rookie of the Year winner, but he slowed down in the second half of the season. Then, Deshaun Watson seemed like he would claim the award, but he suffered an injury and missed the second half of the year. Alvin Kamara was the offensive rookie who finished strongest, averaging 6.1 yards per carry, catching 81 passes and scoring 13 times. Kamara is a legitimate threat to reach the end zone every time he touches the ball.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
2015: Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
2014: Odell Beckham, WR, Giants
2013: Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers
2012: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
2011: Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
2010: Sam Bradford, QB, Rams
2009: Sebastian Vollmer, OT, Patriots
2008: Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens
2007: Joe Thomas, OT, Browns
2006: Vince Young, QB, Titans
2005: Cadillac Williams, RB, Buccaneers
2004: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
2003: Anquan Boldin, WR, Cardinals
2002: Clinton Portis, RB, Broncos
2001: Anthony Thomas, RB, Bears
2000: Jamal Lewis, RB, Ravens


Defensive Rookie of the Year - Tre'Davious White, CB, Bills.

Two rookie cornerbacks were outstanding this year: Tre'Davious White and Marshon Lattimore. They were both exceptional, and either is deserving of this award. The tie-breaker is availability, and White didn't miss any action despite Rob Gronkowski concussing him. Lattimore, on the other hand, effectively was out for four games. Plus, White's concussion led to a Gronkowski suspension, and the game he missed was a New England loss to Miami, so in a sense, at least one Buffalo Bill beat the Patriots.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Joey Bosa, DE/OLB, Chargers
2015: Marcus Peters, CB, Chiefs
2014: Aaron Donald, DT, Rams
2013: Sheldon Richardson, DE/DT, Jets
2012: Bobby Wagner, ILB, Seahawks
2011: Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, 49ers
2010: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Lions
2009: Brian Cushing, OLB, Texans
2008: Jerod Mayo, ILB, Patriots
2007: Patrick Willis, ILB, 49ers
2006: Mark Anderson, DE, Bears
2005: Lofa Tatupu, ILB, Seahawks
2004: Jonathan Vilma, ILB, Jets
2003: Terence Newman, CB, Cowboys
2002: Dwight Freeney, DE, Colts
2001: Kendrell Bell, ILB, Steelers
2000: Corey Simon, DT, Eagles


Special Teams Rookie of the Year - Jamal Agnew, Lions.

Jamal Agnew won the Special Teams Player of the Year award, so it would be quite silly not to award him for the same award in the rookie category.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Tyreek Hill, Chiefs
2015: Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
2014: Josh Huff, Eagles
2013: Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings
2012: Blair Walsh, Vikings
2011: Patrick Peterson, Cardinals
2010: Jacoby Ford, Raiders
2009: Percy Harvin, Vikings
2008: Clifton Smith, Buccaneers
2007: Yamon Figurs, Ravens
2006: Devin Hester, Bears
2005: Jerome Mathis, Texans
2004: Wes Welker, Dolphins
2003: Bethel Johnson, Patriots
2002: Michael "Beer Man" Lewis, Saints
2001: Steve Smith, Panthers
2000: Ron Dixon, Giants




Most Improved Offensive Player - Jared Goff, QB, Rams.

Jared Goff was so brutal in his rookie campaign that I constantly called him "Jared Goof" during the offseason. The Jared Goof of 2016 looked absolutely lost, completing just 54.6 percent of his passes with a 5.3 YPA. He had nine turnovers compared to just five touchdowns. However, thanks to his great work ethic, as well as prolific coaching from Sean McVay and Greg Olson, the Jared Goff of 2017 threw 28 touchdowns to just seven picks, completing 62.1 of his passes on an 8.0 YPA.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns
2015: Gary Barnidge, TE, Browns
2014: Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens
2013: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos
2012: Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers
2011: Fred Jackson, RB, Bills
2010: Brandon Lloyd, WR, Broncos
2009: Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers
2008: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers
2007: Wes Welker, WR, Patriots
2006: Ladell Betts, RB, Redskins
2005: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
2004: Drew Brees, QB, Chargers
2003: Steve Smith, WR, Panthers
2002: Koren Robinson, WR, Seahawks
2001: Troy Brown, WR, Patriots
2000: Jeff Garcia, QB, 49ers


Most Improved Defensive Player - Patrick Robinson, CB, Eagles.

Patrick Robinson struggled so much for the Colts in 2016 that he was signed to a 1-year deal worth just $1 million in March. There was also speculation that he wouldn't make the final roster. Instead, Robinson was Philadelphia's top cornerback in 2017, and his pick-six sparked the Eagles' upset victory over the Vikings in the NFC Championship.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Lorenzo Alexander, DE/OLB, Bills
2015: David Amerson, CB, Raiders
2014: Brandon Marshall, LB, Broncos
2013: Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, Bills
2012: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Jets
2011: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, Giants
2010: Cameron Wake, DE/OLB, Dolphins
2009: Ray Edwards, DE, Vikings
2008: James Harrison, DE/OLB, Steelers
2007: Mario Williams, DE, Texans
2006: Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Raiders
2005: Derrick Burgess, DE, Raiders
2004: James Hall, DE, Lions
2003: Brian Russell, S, Vikings
2002: Keith Bulluck, OLB, Titans
2001: Ahmed Plummer, CB, 49ers
2000: La'Roi Glover, DT, Saints


M.U.P. (Most Unimportant Player) - Jay Cutler, QB, Dolphins.

When Ryan Tannehill went down with a major injury, the Dolphins approached Jay Cutler and brought him out of retirement to save their season. Cutler won some games, but he mostly just spread his horrible lethargy throughout the locker room, bringing down DeVante Parker to his level. The Dolphins would've been better off just sticking with Matt Moore, or David Fales, or any drunken fan in the stands.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
2015: Robert Griffin, QB, Redskins
2014: Jay Cutler, QB, Bears
2013: Trent Richardson, RB, Colts
2012: Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, WRs
2011: Albert Haynesworth, DT, Patriots/Buccaneers
2010: Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals
2009: QB Dog Killer, QB, Eagles
2008: Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants
2007: Michael Vick, QB, Falcons
2006: Randy Moss, WR, Raiders
2005: Terrell Owens, WR, Eagles
2004: Kevan Barlow, RB, 49ers
2003: Keyshawn Johnson, WR, Buccaneers
2002: Barrett Robbins, C, Raiders
2001: Randy Moss, WR, Vikings
2000: Deion Sanders, CB, Redskins


Comeback Player of the Year - Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers.

Keenan Allen was having a strong 2016 debut when he went down with a season-ending injury in the second quarter, ruining what seemed to be a promising year for the Chargers. Allen had a big bounce-back campaign this past season, catching a career-high 102 passes for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
2015: Eric Berry, S, Chiefs
2014: Rolando McClain, LB, Cowboys
2013: LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots
2012: Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
2011: Willis McGahee, RB, Broncos
2010: Brandon Lloyd, WR, Broncos
2009: Vince Young, QB, Titans
2008: Kerry Collins, QB, Titans
2007: Todd Collins, QB, Redskins
2006: Jeff Garcia, QB, Eagles
2005: Brad Johnson, QB, Vikings
2004: Mark Fields, LB, Panthers
2003: Marcus Robinson, WR, Ravens
2002: Tommy Maddox, QB, Steelers
2001: Garrison Hearst, RB, 49ers


Blue Collar Player of the Year - J.J. Watt, DE/DT, Texans.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention what J.J. Watt did this past summer. Houston was devastated for Hurricane Harvey. Many people lost their homes, and some even lost their lives in a devastating natural disaster. Watt stepped up and raised nearly $40 million for relief. That was absolutely amazing, and his actions are going to help a ton of people.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings
2015: Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins
2014: Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers
2013: Josh McCown, QB, Bears
2012: Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts
2011: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars
2010: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
2009: Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
2008: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
2007: Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars
2006: Lorenzo Neal, FB, Chargers
2005: Tedy Bruschi, ILB, Patriots
2004: Troy Brown, WR/CB, Patriots
2003: Brett Favre, QB, Packers
2002: Hines Ward, WR, Steelers
2001: Hines Ward, WR, Steelers


Perseverance Award - Buffalo Bills.

It took 18 years, but the Buffalo Bills finally made the playoffs. Eighteen years. That means people who were entering college weren't even born the last time the Bills qualified for the postseason, which makes me feel extremely old because I remember that season very clearly!

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Alex Mack, C, Falcons
2015: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
2014: Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
2013: Champ Bailey, CB, Broncos
2012: Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens
2011: Tim Tebow, QB, Broncos
2010: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
2009: NFL Fans (for Brett Favre coverage)
2008: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
2007: Eli Manning, QB, Giants
2006: Peyton Manning, QB, Colts
2005: Cincinnati Bengals Fans
2004: John Fox, head coach, Panthers
2003: Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles


Celebration Award - None.

Most people seemed to enjoy the celebrations this year. I think the majority would agree that the Eagles, Steelers and Vikings had the best celebrations. I vote for none of the above. Whether it was players pretending to play baseball, or pretending to fall down like bowling pins, or pretending to pee like a dog, it seemed like almost every NFL player turned into a mime this past season. And mimes are creepy as hell.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants (kicking nets)
2015: Carolina Panthers (balls to kids in stands)
2014: Jerry Jones and Chris Christie, Cowboys (GoP candidacy ruined)
2013: Richard Sherman, CB, Seahawks (Michael Crabtree taunt)
2012: Ray Lewis, Ravens (Ray Lewis dance)
2011: Tim Tebow, Broncos (Tebowing)
2010: Derek Anderson, Cardinals (press conference meltdown)
2009: Chad Ochocinco, Bengals (salute to Chris Henry)
2008: Santonio Holmes (Super Bowl ball prop)
2007: Jerry Jones, Cowboys (rapture)
2006: None (fine for celebrations)
2005: Chad Johnson, Bengals (many)
2004: Terrell Owens, Eagles (many)
2003: Joe Horn, Saints (cell phone)
2002: Terrell Owens, 49ers (Sharpee)


"I Don't Belong in the NFL" Award - Tony Romo, CBS.

With so many injuries this year, a team quarterbacked by Tony Romo would've done some serious damage in the playoffs. Imagine the Broncos or Texans with Romo. That's a team that could've challenged the Patriots in the AFC. However, Romo doesn't belong in the NFL because he was so tremendous as a color analyst on CBS. Despite being in his first year, he's miles ahead of some of his other colleagues, particularly Troy Aikman. FOX is going to have to step up its game and find someone who can actually contend with Romo.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Jed York, 49ers
2015: Johnny Manziel, Browns
2014: Johnny Manziel, Browns
2013: Jonathan Martin, Dolphins
2012: Titus Young, Lions
2011: Caleb Hanie, Bears
2010: Vince Young, Titans
2009: Al Davis, Raiders
2008: Detroit Lions
2007: Randy Mueller, Dolphins
2006: Charley Casserly, Texans
2005: Charley Casserly, Texans
2004: John York, 49ers
2003: Steve Spurrier, Redskins
2002: Marty Mornhinweg, Lions
2001: Daniel Snyder, Redskins


Joe Value Player - Marcus Williams, Saints

This new award, suggested by forum member Clov, is given to the player who provided us with the biggest "what the f*** are you doing" moment of the year.

All Marcus Williams had to do was tackle Stefon Diggs inbounds. That's all he had to do, and the Saints would've advanced to the NFC Championship. Instead, Williams dived like he was avoiding Diggs, and the Minnesota receiver ran all the way into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Kyle Shanahan, Falcons
2015: Vontaze Burfict, Bengals
2014: Darrell Bovell, Seahawks
2013: Cleveland Browns Front Office
2012: Mark Sanchez (Butt Fumble), Jets


Free Agent Nightmare Award - Kenny Britt, WR, Browns.

Kenny Britt was coming off a career year in 2016, catching 68 passes for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns despite playing in a dysfunctional offense. The Browns liked what they saw and gave Britt a 4-year, $32.5 million contract. Britt effectively stole all that money from Cleveland, as he dropped countless passes, ran half-hearted routes and spread his horrible lethargy throughout the locker room. Britt lasted just 12 games in Cleveland, logging a pathetic 18 receptions.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Brock Osweiler, QB, Texans 2015: Nate Allen, S, Raiders
2014: Jairus Byrd, S, Saints
2013: Jeff Ireland, GM, Dolphins
2012: Robert Meachem, WR, Chargers


The Backdoor Bandit Award - Justin Houston, Chiefs.

This new award, suggested by forum mod VBSiena, is given to the player who cost/won me the most money because of something bogus. The Backdoor Bandit was the moniker that I gave to Seneca Wallace, who was responsible for putting together a ridiculous amount of backdoor covers.

I didn't know it at the time, but Justin Houston ended up costing me $2,300. I had the Redskins for a medium-sized play against the Chiefs on Monday night in Week 4. They led for a decent chunk of the game despite being 7.5-point underdogs. They had a chance to take the lead at the end, but Josh Doctson dropped a touchdown. Still, they kicked a field goal to tie. The Chiefs drove down the field and kicked a field goal as well. It was a three-point game with seconds remaining, and so Washington tried a Stanford Band-type play. Unfortunately for my bank account, Justin Houston scooped up the ball and ran into the end zone with no time left in regulation to make the score 29-20. Where the $2,300 comes in is that I was in a giant picking pool with Awesome Kelly from Arizona. We finished the year in a three-way tie for first place, so we split a big pot. Had Houston never scooped and scored, we would've won the whole damn thing.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Drew Brees, Saints
2015: Me
2014: Pete Morelli, Official
2013: Clete Blakeman, Official
2012: Ray Rice, Ravens
2009: Ted Ginn, Dolphins (retroactively)
2008: Seneca Wallace, Seahawks (retroactively)




Scrub of the Year - Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys.

This award is for the player who was the Scrub of the Week the most times on my NFL Power Rankings page. Three players held that distinction twice: Jay Ajayi, Dez Bryant and Marshawn Lynch.

Of those three, Bryant had the most disappointing season. Ajayi redeemed himself in Philadelphia, while Lynch had a few strong performances. Bryant sucked for most of the year, struggling to separate from average cornerbacks.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks 2015: Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers
2014: Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints
2013: Ray Rice, RB, Ravens
2012: Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets
2011: LeGarrette Blount, RB, Buccaneers; Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
2010: Randy Moss, WR, Patriots/Vikings/Titans
2009: Jake Delhomme, QB, Panthers
2008: Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals
2007: Brian Griese, QB, Bears
2006: Rex Grossman, QB, Bears
2005: J.P. Losman, QB, Bills; Vinny Testaverde, QB, Jets
2004: Mike Martz, head coach, Rams
2003: Joey Harrington, QB, Lions; Jeff Garcia, QB, 49ers; Drew Bledsoe, QB, Bills
2002: Randy Moss, WR, Vikings
2001: Elvis Grbac, QB, Ravens




Coach of the Year - Bill Belichick, Patriots.

Sean McVay is an obvious candidate for this award for getting the most out of Jared Goff and turning the Rams around. Mike Zimmer is in consideration because he won 13 games with Case Keenum starting all but two contests. Doug Pederson won the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback. Hue Jackson, umm, never mind. There are lots of options, but Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL. He lost his best receiver (Julian Edelman), top linebacker (Dont'a Hightower) and right tackle (Marcus Cannon). He had no pass rush, and his quarterback was 40. And yet, the Patriots went 13-3 and advanced to the Super Bowl.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Bill Belichick, Patriots
2015: Bruce Arians, Cardinals
2014: Bruce Arians, Cardinals
2013: Bill Belichick, Patriots
2012: John Harbaugh, Ravens
2011: Jim Harbaugh, 49ers
2010: Bill Belichick, Patriots
2009: Rex Ryan, Jets
2008: Bill Belichick, Patriots
2007: Bill Belichick, Patriots
2006: Bill Belichick, Patriots
2005: Lovie Smith, Bears
2004: Bill Cowher, Steelers
2003: Bill Parcells, Cowboys
2002: Jon Gruden, Buccaneers
2001: Bill Belichick, Patriots


Coordinator of the Year - Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, Patriots.

The last time the Patriots played in consecutive Super Bowls, I gave this award to their two coordinators, Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel. So, here we are, as the Patriots' dynasty has continued 13 years later. Both Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia were instrumental in New England's Super Bowl run in 2017, and both, like Weis and Crennel, will be taking new jobs the following year. They will be missed in 2018.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Kyle Shanahan, Falcons
2015: Wade Phillips, Broncos
2014: Gary Kubiak, Ravens
2013: Rob Ryan, Saints
2012: Bruce Arians, Colts
2011: Wade Phillips, Texans
2010: Dom Capers, Packers
2009: Gregg Williams, Saints
2008: Dick LeBeau, Steelers
2007: Steve Spagnulo, Giants
2006: Rex Ryan, Ravens
2005: Dick LeBeau, Steelers
2004: Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, Patriots
2003: Jim Johnson, Eagles
2002: Monte Kiffin, Buccaneers
2001: Mike Mularkey, Steelers


WalterFootball.com Award (Best Player) - Aaron Donald, DT, Rams.

J.J. Watt is usually going to win this award, but for the second year in a row, he missed the majority of his games. Thus, the best player in 2017 was another defensive lineman, Aaron Donald. The fourth-year Ram was extremely dominant this past season. His 11 sacks don't tell the whole story. Donald commands so much attention and makes things easier for his teammates. With Jared Goff struggling in the wild-card round of the playoffs, Donald nearly single-handedly willed his team to victory by pressuring Matt Ryan on half of his drop-backs. Donald is a freak of nature, and he's going to command an enormous deal with his contract expiring in 2019.

Past Winners of this Award:
2016: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
2015: J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
2014: J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
2013: J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
2012: Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
2011: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
2010: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
2009: Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
2008: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
2007: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
2006: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers
2005: Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs
2004: Ed Reed, S, Ravens
2003: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers
2002: Michael Vick, QB, Falcons
2001: Marshall Faulk, RB, Rams
2000: Marshall Faulk, RB, Rams




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