2019 WalterFootball.com NFL Awards: 20th Annual

The 20th-annual WalterFootball.com Awards are here! Stay tuned for a 2020 NFL Mock Draft update in a couple of days. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

M.V.P. – Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks.

Lamar Jackson is likely to win this award in real life, but I’d give it to Russell Wilson. Jackson had an incredible season, but he was also surrounded by a terrific offensive line and an outstanding defense. Wilson, meanwhile, barely had anything to help him. There was Tyler Lockett, of course, and D.K. Metcalf became a consistent producer toward the end of the season, but that was it. Wilson’s blocking and defense were poor, and his running game vanished when his top two backs suffered injuries. The fact that he led his team to the divisional round of the playoffs is a testament to how vital he was to the Seahaws. He was the most valuable player to his team in the entire league.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
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, Chiefs.

Again, Lamar Jackson could claim this award, but I’m inclined to give it to Patrick Mahomes. Jackson’s great runs took attention away from Mahomes and how special he was in 2019. Despite missing two-and-a-half games, Mahomes threw for 4,031 yards, 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He didn’t have his top receiver, Tyreek Hill, for about a third of the season, and he was missing two offensive linemen for several contests. Mahomes also played hurt for a while, so he wasn’t quite himself during some losses during the middle of the year. Mahomes, however, proved that he’s the best quarterback in the NFL during some terrific performances in the playoffs. He vanquished the Titans easily, whereas Jackson struggled against them.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
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 – Christian McCaffrey, Panthers.

Derrick Henry was amazing down the stretch and eventually ended up leading the league in rushing, but Christian McCaffrey was outstanding the entire season. Despite playing just two games with his starting quarterback, McCaffrey rushed for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns, but what he did as a receiver out of the backfield was more amazing. He caught 116 passes for 1,005 receiving yards and four other touchdowns. He’s the ultimate weapon at the position.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Saquon Barkley, Giants
2017: Todd Gurley, Rams
2016: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
2015: Adrian Peterson, Vikings
2014: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
2013: Jamaal Charles, 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 – Michael Thomas, WR, Saints.

This is the first time that Julio Jones or Antonio Brown did not win this award since 2013. Jones finished second in yardage at 1,394, but that paled in comparison to Michael Thomas’ 1,725. Thomas also caught a ridiculous 149 passes. Nothing NFL teams tried to do stopped Thomas from accumulating ridiculous numbers every week.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Julio Jones, Falcons
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 in 2018. He saw those numbers dip to 1,229 and five in 2018, but Patrick Mahomes was hurt or absent for about a quarter of the season. Kelce is a dominant force at the position, though George Kittle is beginning to close in on him.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Travis Kelce, Chiefs
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 – Ronnie Stanley, Ravens.

Something barely anyone mentions when discussing Lamar Jackson is how much he was able to benefit from having an elite offensive line in front of him. Jackson deserves credit for a great year, but the blocking was a huge boon for him. The best lineman shielding Jackson was Ronnie Stanley, who has emerged as a terrific blind-side protector.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: David Bakhtiari, Packers
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 Brandon Brooks, but the latter missed a bit of time with an injury and anxiety issues, so I was compelled to give this award to Zack Martin for the fourth year in a row.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Zack Martin, Cowboys
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.

Jason Kelce was once again the best center in the NFL. I wrote this last year, but 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 in 2018 because Kelce got hurt. The Eagles lost several linmen to injury last year, but Kelce was a steady force who helped them reach the playoffs.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Jason Kelce, Eagles
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 – Danielle Hunter, Vikings.

Despite a leaky secondary, the Vikings still had one of the top defenses in the NFL. Danielle Hunter was a major reason for that. He was an absolute terror on the edge, recording 14.5 sacks and holding up well against the run. Hunter is just 25, so the sky is the limit for him.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Myles Garrett, Browns
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 Rams’ defense declined a bit compared to 2018 – at least prior to Jalen Ramsey’s arrival – but Aaron Donald was still the greatest defensive force in the NFL. He continued to dominate at the line of scrimmage. He is truly an amazing player.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Aaron Donald, Rams
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.

As I wrote last year, Fletcher Cox 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 Donald, but he’s still an unbelievably talented player.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Fletcher Cox, Eagles
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 – T.J. Watt, Steelers

The Steelers started Mason Rudolph or Duck Hodges for 14 games, yet were in the playoff hunt until the final week of the season because of their amazing defense. The best player on their stop unit was T.J. Watt, who recorded 14.5 sacks in just his third season.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Khalil Mack, Bears
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 – Demario Davis, Saints.

Demario Davis just turned 31 in January, so you could call him a late bloomer. He’s always been a steady linebacker, but he took his play to another level in 2019. He was prolific in both run support and coverage, and he was also effective when blitzing.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Darius Leonard, Colts
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 – Eric Kendricks, LB, Vikings.

Much like Demario Davis, Eric Kendricks made major strides to his game. Kendricks was always a decent linebacker, but he performed on a very high level in 2019, becoming an elite player in coverage. He, along with the aforementioned Danielle Hunter, were the primary catalysts for Minnesota’s defensive success.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Bobby Wagner, Seahawks
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 maintained what people considered to be the best defense in the NFL for most of the season. A big reason for this was Stephon Gilmore, who continued to erase half the field.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Stephon Gilmore, Patriots
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 – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers.

Miami fans may not like this because Minkah Fitzpatrick didn’t exactly try very hard for them, but he was fantastic once he was traded to the Steelers. He became an electric play-maker for Pittsburgh’s defense, routinely creating clutch turnovers and running back defensive touchdowns.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Eddie Jackson, Bears
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 even better in his third season. He’s a tremendous play-maker in the Jets’ secondary, and there’s a major decline in New York’s defense whenever he’s absent from the lineup.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Jamal Adams, Jets
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 – Josh Lambo, Jaguars.

I doubt anyone would equate Josh Lambo to being the best kicker in the NFL in 2019, but that’s exactly what he was. He missed just one field goal, going 33-of-34. He also drilled all four of his tries from beyond 50.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Aldrick Rosas, Giants
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 – Jamal Agnew, Lions.

The Lions didn’t have much going for them, especially after they suffered countless injuries in October and beyond. Jamal Agnew was one of the few bright spots, as he had two returns for touchdowns in 2019.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Cory Littleton, Rams
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 – Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders.

Josh Jacobs missed three games in his rookie campaign, yet he was still able to rush for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns. He was as good as advertised, and he made the Raiders’ offense very potent despite the team losing Antonio Brown prior to the season.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
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 – Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers.

Nick Bosa was so good as a rookie that I considered him as the 4-3 Defensive End of the Year. He was a major reason why the 49ers were able to make such a great turn-around. His presence on the defensive line gave San Francisco one of the most devastating fronts in the league.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Darius Leonard, LB, Colts
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 – Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens.

Lamar Jackson didn’t win MVP or Quarterback of the Year on this award page, but he was certainly most improved. Jackson was dreadful in a playoff loss to the Chargers in his first season. I was skeptical that he could make such a big jump so soon, but he exploded in his sophomore campaign. He still has a long way to go to become an elite passer, but Jackson could get there, given his tireless work ethic.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Eric Ebron, TE, Colts
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 – Shaq Barrett, DE, Buccaneers.

Prior to this past season, Shaq Barrett hadn’t recorded more than 5.5 sacks in any season. This was because he was stuck behind Von Miller and also one of DeMarcus Ware or Bradley Chubb in Denver. Barrett finally got his chance in 2019, and he made the most out of it. He notched a ridiculous 19.5 sacks. He would’ve been the 4-3 Defensive Player of the Year, but he wasn’t very good in run support.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Chiefs
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) – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Patriots.

Bill Belichick should start playing fantasy football. Mohamed Sanu accumulated some nice stats with the Falcons in 2019, but serious fantasy football players and DFSers were well aware that all of this came in garbage time. Belichick didn’t recognize this, as he dealt a precious second-round pick to Atlanta for Sanu. Save for an odd game against the Ravens, Sanu didn’t catch more than three passes in any game with New England. He was barely a part of the game plan by the time the playoffs began, so it’s clear that New England surrendered a second-round choice for absolutely nothing.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Carlos Hyde, RB, Jaguars
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 – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Saints.

Some believed Teddy Bridgewater wouldn’t be able to play football again when he suffered a devastating knee injury several summers ago. Bridgewater eventually made his return to the field, but looked like a shell of his former self. It seemed like Bridgewater would have to settle for just being a mediocre backup quarterback, but he proved his doubters wrong with what he accomplished in 2019. Stepping in for an injured Drew Brees, Bridgewater didn’t lose a single start. New Orleans’ offense didn’t skip a beat. Now, there will be a very heavy market for Bridgewater this offseason.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
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 – Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers.

A 49er wins this award for the second year in a row, but how could it not be Raheem Mostert? He was cut by six teams, but he didn’t give up. He continued to work very hard and ultimately carved a major role in San Francisco’s offense. He was impressive to close out the season, and yet no one could’ve predicted how dominant he would be in the NFC Championship.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Nick Mullens, QB, 49ers
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 – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans.

Ryan Tannehill failed in Miami. He looked like he was following the trajectory of Jake Locker as a mobile, but raw quarterback who wasn’t going to cut it in the NFL. Tannehill didn’t call it quits and actually went to the team Locker used to play for. Tannehill unseated a struggling Marcus Mariota and performed better than the former No. 2 overall pick. Perhaps Mariota will win this award one day.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Browns fans
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 – Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys (Dak Prescott hip flip).

The best touchdown celebration is no touchdown celebration. NFL players act like mimes when they score, and mimes are the creepiest people on the planet not named Joe Biden. However, I even had a good laugh when Ezekiel Elliott mocked Dak Prescott’s infamous hip flip pre-game routine after scoring a touchdown.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Michael Thomas, WR, Saints (cell phone)
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 – Antonio Brown, WR, Patriots.

Antonio Brown has lost his mind. He hasn’t been the same person since he took that jarring hit from Vontaze Burfict in a playoff game. He has become self destructive off the field, and he has committed so many vile acts that NFL teams will refrain from adding him to their roster. Sadly, professional help may not save Brown at this point.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Hue Jackson, Browns 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 – Myles Garrett, Browns

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.

Myles Garrett became the easy winner of this award when he used a helmet to bash in the skull of Mason Rudolph at the end of the first meeting between the Steelers and the Browns. Garrett is very fortunate that Rudolph didn’t suffer brain damage; otherwise, he may have been given a lifetime ban in the NFL.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: NFL Officials
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 – Nick Foles, QB, Jaguars.

The Jaguars were the only team bidding for Nick Foles last spring. You’d think that they could’ve gotten a good deal on him in that scenario, but Tom Coughlin inexplicably overpaid for him, giving Foles $88 million over four years with $50 million guaranteed. Foles broke his collarbone, but was ineffective when he returned from injury. This caused Coughlin and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo to be fired.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
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 – 49ers.

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.

The 49ers cost me lots of money this season. I picked against them twice in Picks of the Month. The December version was Russell Wilson not covering as a rare home dog. The January version saw Aaron Rodgers not covering as an eight-point underdog. The thing is, I had a 40/1 ticket on the 49ers winning the Super Bowl, so I do not hold a grudge against them.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Dee Ford, Chiefs
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 – Tom Brady, QB, Patriots.

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

It almost seems wrong to have Brady as the Scrub of the Year, but the numbers don’t lie. Brady was the most disappointing player from a statistical perspective when not factoring injuries. Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time, but his horrible receiving corps was too much for the 42-year-old Brady to overcome.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
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 – Kyle Shanahan, 49ers.

Bill Belichick didn’t win this award for the first time since 2015. In fact, this is the first time Belichick or Bruce Arians didn’t win since 2012. Kyle Shanahan was the best coach in 2019. He did an amazing job scheming for Jimmy Garoppolo and building a great running game without an elite back. He always prepared his teams well. He was greatly responsible for San Francisco’s vast improvement from 2018 to 2019. At just 40 years old, Shanahan has a very bright future ahead of him.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Bill Belichick, Patriots
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 – Greg Roman, Ravens.

Greg Roman was hired to develop Lamar Jackson. The move was criticized by some when it happened, but Roman did an outstanding job with the second-year quarterback. Lamar Jackson took a big leap in 2019, and while his talent and hard work were responsible for that, Roman deserves lots of credit as well.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Vic Fangio, Bears
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) – Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs.

Aaron Donald could’ve won this award again, but Patrick Mahomes is getting the nod as the best player in the NFL. Mahomes is amazing. He has an elite arm, terrific accuracy, great mobility and superior intelligence. He works hard, and he’s great leader. The crazy thing is that Mahomes hasn’t even started 40 games as a pro yet. As long as Mahomes stays healthy, he’ll win the award as the best player for a very long time.

Past Winners of this Award:
2018: Aaron Donald, DT, Rams
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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