2018 WalterFootball.com NFL Awards: 19th Annual



The 19th-annual WalterFootball.com Awards are here! Stay tuned for a 2019 NFL Mock Draft update in a couple of days. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.





M.V.P. - Drew Brees, QB, Saints.

There was some controversy about who should have won the MVP. It was a tight race between Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees. Mahomes was the better quarterback overall - as you'll soon see - but this award is not for the best player. Brees was more valuable than Mahomes because if you take both signal-callers away from their respective franchises and replace them with mediocre quarterbacks, you'd have completely different results. We've seen the Chiefs repeatedly reach the playoffs with an average quarterback (Alex Smith), while the Saints would be completely lost without Drew Brees. Patrick Mahomes took the Chiefs to a different level, but I don't think the Saints would've reached the postseason with a middling signal-caller.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
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 - Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs.

While Drew Brees won the MVP in our 19th-annual awards, Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback. He was unreal this year. He threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2018, and yet, this was his first full year as a starter! It's almost scary to imagine how Mahomes will perform once he has way more experience under his belt.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Tom Brady, Patriots
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 - Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for more yards, and Todd Gurley scored way more touchdowns, but Saquon Barkley was the top running back in the NFL last year. Barkley had absolutely no help; his offensive line and quarterback situation were both cruddy. Despite this, he finished second in the NFL in rushing with 1,307 yards. He also caught a ridiculous 91 passes. Barkley is going to post crazy numbers once the Giants straighten out their blocking woes.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Todd Gurley, Rams
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 - Julio Jones, WR, Falcons.

If you wanted to make a case against Julio Jones winning this award at mid-season, you could have pointed to his touchdown total, which was an ugly goose egg. The Falcons were highly criticized for not allowing Jones to find the end zone, but that changed quickly. Jones scored eight times in the second half of the year. He also racked up more than 100 yards than any other receiver. Michael Thomas was a close second for this award because of his 125 receptions, but Jones would've done better with Drew Brees.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Antonio Brown, Steelers
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 - Travis Kelce, Chiefs.

Travis Kelce accumulated 1,336 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, which are insane numbers for a tight end. Shockingly, he didn't even have the most receiving yards at his position (George Kittle, 1,377), but Patrick Mahomes spread the ball around quite well, so Kelce's stats would've been better had Mahomes just focused on throwing to Kelce like C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens did with Kittle.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
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 - David Bakhtiari, Packers.

David Bakhtiari is the first left tackle other than Joe Thomas to win this award since D'Brickashaw Ferguson in 2010. With Thomas retired, Bakhtiari is now the best blind-side pass protector in the NFL. He's not as great at run blocking, but he definitely deserves to win this award for 2018.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Lane Johnson, Eagles
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 Shaq Mason, 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 Travis Frederick's auto-immune disease.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Zack Martin, Cowboys
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 - Jason Kelce, Eagles.

Poor Travis Frederick couldn't win this award for the fourth year in a row. Hopefully he recovers from his auto-immune disease. The best center now is also a member of the NFC East, as Jason Kelce has earned that distinction. If you want evidence of how vital Kelce is to Philadelphia's offense, consider that the Eagles scored just seven points in their first matchup against the Saints because Kelce got hurt.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Travis Frederick, Cowboys
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 - Myles Garrett, Browns.

Myles Garrett recorded 13.5 sacks in his second season. Garrett finished second in sacks among 4-3 defensive ends, only behind Danielle Hunter. Garrett is a better run defender than Hunter, so he should win this award.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Calais Campbell, Jaguars
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 - Aaron Donald, Rams.

The case can be made that Aaron Donald is the best player in the NFL, so he's definitely the top player at the position. He can single-handedly dominate a game like no one else. Donald notched 20.5 sacks, nearly breaking Michael Strahan's single-season record.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Steelers
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 - Fletcher Cox, Eagles.

Now that Aaron Donald is in the 3-4, that opens the possibility for Fletcher Cox to win this award. Fox is an outstanding player who seems to be underrated because the media focuses so much on Aaron Donald and J.J. Watt. Cox is a slight notch below those two, but he's still an unbelievably talented player.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Aaron Donald, Rams
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 - Khalil Mack, Bears

I'd say the Khalil Mack trade worked out for the Bears! Mack was a tremendous addition to Chicago's stellar defense, logging 12.5 sacks even though he missed a couple of games. It was a close call between Mack and Von Miller, but the tie-breaker was Mack's ability to lead his team into the playoffs.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Von Miller, Broncos 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 - Darius Leonard, Colts.

Darius Leonard and Leighton Vander Esch both easily could've won this award. Leonard was slightly better overall in coverage, while Vander Esch was a bit better as a run defender. Coverage is more important than run defense in today's NFL, so I'm giving Leonard the nod, but you couldn't go wrong with either dynamic rookie.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Telvin Smith, Jaguars
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.

Once again, this was a close call between Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly. Both teams were winless in the games those players missed last year, which wasn't a surprise. The tie-breaker, as with the 3-4 outside linebacker award, should be that Wagner led his team to the playoffs.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Bobby Wagner, Seahawks
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 - Stephon Gilmore, Patriots.

The Patriots had major issues stopping the run during the regular season, but they were much better against the pass. A big reason for that was Stephon Gilmore, who was able to erase one side of the field.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Jalen Ramsey, Jaguars
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 - Eddie Jackson, Bears.

All the attention was on Khalil Mack in Chicago's defense, but Eddie Jackson was a vital part of the unit as well. Jackson is a play-making machine. He intercepted six passes last year, taking two back to the house. He now has three defensive touchdowns in two NFL seasons.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Harrison Smith, Vikings
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 - Jamal Adams, Jets.

Jamal Adams had a solid rookie campaign, but he really took his play to the next level in his sophomore season. Adams was terrific for the Jets, particularly in coverage, and he should continue to improve his game.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Landon Collins, Giants
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 - Aldrick Rosas, Giants.

You may have guessed Justin Tucker or Robbie Gould, but statistically, Aldrick Rosas was the best kicker in 2018. Rosas missed just one field goal, drilling 32 of his 33 attempts. He was 4-of-5 from 50-plus, and he also missed just one extra point.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Matt Bryant, Falcons
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 - Cory Littleton, Rams.

This award is generally given to a return specialist. Cory Littleton doesn't return anything, but he blocked multiple kicks this past season, so he deserves to win this award.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Jamal Agnew, Lions
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 - Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants.

Baker Mayfield would have been the clear winner any other year, as he helped revive a dead Browns franchise. However, Saquon Barkley had an unbelievable rookie year, finishing second in rushing and catching 91 passes despite having poor blocking in front of him.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
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 - Darius Leonard, LB, Colts.

Several players could have won this award. Leighton Vander Esch, Derwin James, Denzel Ward and Bradley Chubb were among those who were very deserving. However, Darius Leonard almost single-handedly turned the Colts' defense from being one of the league's worst groups to being a solid stop unit. He was a tackling machine as a rookie, leading the NFL in that category by 19 tackles. He was the best of an exceptional rookie class.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Tre'Davious White, CB, Bills
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




Most Improved Offensive Player - Eric Ebron, TE, Colts.

Eric Ebron was the 10th-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but he didn't live up to it in Detroit. He struggled immensely, and the Lions were eager to move on from him last offseason. The Colts picked him up, and the rest was history. Ebron finally showed his full potential, as he and Andrew Luck developed a terrific chemistry. Ebron, as a result, caught 13 touchdowns, shattering his previous career-high mark of five.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Jared Goff, QB, Rams
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 - Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Chiefs.

Dee Ford lining up an inch offsides ended up costing the Chiefs a trip to the Super Bowl, but he still deserves to be acknowledged as the most improved defensive player. Ford had just two sacks in 2017, yet emerged as one of the top edge players in 2018, racking up 13 sacks.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Patrick Robinson, CB, Eagles
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) - Carlos Hyde, RB, Browns/Jaguars.

Carlos Hyde was the most unimportant player for two franchises last year! When he was with the Browns, he blocked the vastly superior Nick Chubb from logging more than three carries in a game. Then, he did nothing for the Jaguars, who wasted a draft pick in acquiring him. It takes a special kind of ineptitude to be most unimportant for two teams, but Hyde did it. Bravo.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Jay Cutler, QB, Dolphins
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 - Andrew Luck, Colts.

How could this be anyone besides Andrew Luck? The Indianapolis signal-caller had gone more than a full calendar year without throwing a regulation-sized football. There was some doubt that he'd even play in 2018. Yet, Luck not only took the field, but led his team to the second round of the playoffs. Luck started slowly, but looked like his old self toward the end of the regular season.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
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 - Nick Mullens, QB, 49ers.

When it was announced that Nick Mullens would start on a random Thursday night game, everyone bet the other side. Yet, Mullens prevailed in a blowout victory. That's when we learned his story. He would go to an empty stadium every day and run all of the plays he could. He worked so hard, and it paid off. Mullens went on to put together several strong performances to close out the year, cementing his status as a solid backup quarterback at the very least. If Mullens doesn't deserve the Blue Collar Player of the Year award, I don't know who does.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: J.J. Watt, DE/DT, Texans
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 - Cleveland Browns Fans

The poor people who support the Browns had to watch their team win just one game in a span of two years. Even worse, their team hasn't made the playoffs since the 2002 season. It's amazing that they continue to support the Browns, but the ones who stuck with the team were finally paid off. The Browns finally have a glimmer of hope with Baker Mayfield leading the team.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Buffalo Bills
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 - Michael Thomas, WR, Saints (cell phone).

Fifteen years ago, Joe Horn won the Celebration Award on this Web site for pulling a cell phone from under the goal post and pretending to make a phone call. Michael Thomas honored the former Saint by doing the same exact thing versus the Rams in the regular season. What was especially great about the celebration was that Thomas used a flip phone to fully emulate what Horn did.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: None
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 - Hue Jackson, HC, Browns.

Hue Jackson went 3-36-1 with the Browns. Let that sink in for a second. He won just three of 40 possible games. And if there was any belief that this was a byproduct of the Browns being terrible, Cleveland finished 5-3 without Jackson. Yes, the Browns won more games in an eight-game stretch than Jackson did in 2-and-a-half years with Jackson! How is that even possible!?

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Tony Romo, CBS (because of how great he was at broadcasting)
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 - NFL Officials

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

The officiating needs to be discussed because it was an all-time worst this year. It began almost immediately when Clay Matthews was flagged for a phantom roughing-the-passer penalty versus the Vikings in Week 2, which ended up costing the Packers a win. Horrible calls were prevalent throughout the year, but the worst instance occurred on a play at the end of regulation in the NFC Championship. The Saints would have won the game, but Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman somehow got away with both pass interference and helmet to helmet on the same play! This unquestionably screwed the Saints out of a Super Bowl appearance.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Marcus Williams, Saints
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 - Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings.

So many people in the bad opinion sports media criticized the Redskins and general manager Bruce Allen for not giving Kirk Cousins a long-term contract. Allen had the last laugh after the Vikings signed Cousins to an absurd 3-year, fully guaranteed $86 million contract. Cousins had some nice moments in 2018, but he predictably choked in big games, which he did quite often in Washington. Making matters worse, the Vikings are going to be crushed by Cousins' contract. They're going to have to allow some talented defensive players to leave via free agency, and a couple of years from now, Minnesota will still be looking for a quarterback. Signing Cousins absolutely destroyed the Vikings.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Kenny Britt, WR, Browns
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 - Dee Ford, Chiefs.

This 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.

Justin Houston won this award for his nonsense touchdown on a Monday night against the Redskins in 2017, so it's only fitting that his edge-rushing teammate, Dee Ford, would claim this award in 2018. Ford was responsible for being offside by an inch in the fourth quarter against the Patriots. This play nullified a Tom Brady interception, which would've given the Chiefs a Super Bowl appearance. This is significant because I had a $100 ticket on Kansas City to win the Super Bowl at 35:1 odds. Goodbye, $3,500!

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Justin Houston, Chiefs
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 - Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots.

This award is for the player who was the Scrub of the Week the most times on my NFL Power Rankings page. Two players held that distinction twice: Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

Of those two, Gronkowski had the most disappointing season by far. Brady had some clutch moments in the playoffs, while Gronkowski lumbered around like an old man who forgot his walker at the retirement home.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys
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.

Can you believe that Jason Garrett won the Coach of the Year Award in real life a couple of years ago? Unreal. Bill Belichick is the best head coach in the NFL. If it wasn't for him, the Patriots likely would not have even made the playoffs most of these years without him. Unless something crazy happens, Belichick will win this award every year.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Bill Belichick, Patriots
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 - Vic Fangio, Bears.

Vic Fangio did a remarkable job as the Bears' defensive coordinator last year. He coached up Chicago to have the top defense in the NFL. Fangio was rewarded with the head-coaching position with the Broncos.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, Patriots
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.

As written earlier, Aaron Donald is a one-man wrecking crew who can single-handedly dominate football games. He nearly broke Michael Strahan's single-season sack record, logging 20.5 sacks. Donald may not be the most valuable player in the NFL, but he's the best player in the league right now.

Past Winners of this Award:
2017: Aaron Donald, DT, Rams
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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