Aaron Rodgers would rather be playing in the Super Bowl, but winning his second National Football League Most Valuable Player Award is a decent consolation prize.
The Green Bay quarterback who famously told Packer Land to R-E-L-A-X after a 1-2 start collected the hardware on a desert night where the NFL’s biggest past, present and future stars (minus Patriots and Seahawks of course) came together to celebrate the 2014 season. Rodgers passed for 4,381 yards, 38 TDs and a league-low 5 interceptions as he lead the Packers to a 12-4 record along with an NFC North division title. The Green Bay star out-distanced J.J. Watt, the league’s Defensive Player of the Year winner by a vote of 31-to-13. Dallas teammates Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray finished with two votes each while Tom Brady and Bobby Wagner (yes, Bobby Wagner) garnered a single vote as well.
New York Giants wide receiver, playmaker and ‘greatest catch ever’ candidate Odell Beckham, Jr. won the 2015 Offensive Rookie of the Year while St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the Defensive ROY. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was named Comeback Player of the Year.
Carolina Panthers linebacker and defensive captain Thomas Davis won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is the only league honor that recognizes a player’s off-the-field community service as well on-field excellence.
“I mean, just being here tonight is something that’s positive for me. Just knowing where all I’ve come from. Sitting there looking at the video, seeing my hometown and seeing all the stuff that I’ve been able to overcome throughout my career. I’m just excited to stand before you guys tonight,” an emotional Davis said as he accepted the award.
The 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class was also announced as Canton, Ohio will welcome eight new members this summer including annual HOF bridesmaids Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, and five-time Super Bowl champion Charles Haley. Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Ron Wolf and Bill Polian round out this season’s class. Tingelhoff was a Veterans Committee candidate while Wolf and Polian go in as part of the NFL’s new Contributors sub-committee.
Noticeably absent from the 2015 Hall of Fame Class were first-year nominees Kurt Warner and Orlando Pace along with former-Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison who was in his second year of eligibility.
FanRag Sports Wants to Know:
Will a defensive player ever win the NFL MVP again?
Is Kurt Warner, Orlando Pace, or Marvin Harrison more deserving of Hall of Fame honors?
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