Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award

The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award is presented annually by the Associated Press (AP) to a player in the National Football League (NFL) deemed to have been the "most valuable" in that year's regular season. While there have been many selectors of NFL MVPs in the past, today the MVP award presented by the AP is considered the de facto official NFL MVP award and the most prestigious.[1][2] Since 2011, the NFL has held the annual NFL Honors ceremony to recognize the winner of each year's AP MVP award, along with other AP awards, such as the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year and AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year.[3] The most recent AP NFL MVP is quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.[4]

AP NFL MVP Award
Aaron Rodgers crop.jpg
Aaron Rodgers is the most recent recipient.
Awarded forMost valuable player in the National Football League
Presented byAssociated Press
History
First award1957
Most winsPeyton Manning
(5)
Most recentAaron Rodgers (4)
Peyton Manning won the award a record five times.

The AP has presented an award recognizing the NFL's top player since 1957. The award is voted upon by a panel of 50 sportswriters at the end of the regular season, before the playoffs, though the results are not announced to the public until the day before the Super Bowl. The sportswriters chosen regularly follow the NFL, and remain mostly consistent from year to year. They are chosen based on expertise and are independent of the league itself.[5] Voters for the award have included Troy Aikman of Fox Sports; Cris Collinsworth and Tony Dungy of NBC Sports; and Herm Edwards of ESPN.[5] Only two players in the history of the award have won it unanimously: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2010 and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2019.[6]

Due to voters' tendency to favor offensive positions,[7][8] the award has been overwhelmingly dominated by offensive players; of the 57 undisputed winners, 54 played an offensive position: 38 quarterbacks and 16 running backs. Two defensive players have won the award: Alan Page in 1971 as a defensive tackle, and Lawrence Taylor as a linebacker in 1986. The sole special teams player to be named AP NFL MVP was Mark Moseley, who won as a placekicker in 1982.[9]

Thirteen awardees also won the Super Bowl (or NFL Championship Game prior to 1966) in the same season. However, this has not occurred since 1999, when MVP Kurt Warner won Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams.[9] Since then, nine AP NFL MVPs have led their team to the Super Bowl and were defeated each time.[10] This has led to tongue-in-cheek claims in recent years that there is a "curse" preventing the awardee's team from winning the Super Bowl.[11][12]

Seven NFL franchises have not produced an MVP, the New York Jets (not counting Joe Namath's two AFL MVPs), Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Green Bay Packers have the most overall winners with ten; if including disputed awards (see below), the Colts would be tied with ten. The Green Bay Packers also have the most unique winners with five players winning the award.

DiscrepanciesEdit

The AP has presented an award recognizing the NFL's top player since the 1957 season,[5][13] although the pre-1961 awardees are recognized in the Official NFL Record and Fact Book as winning the AP's "NFL Most Outstanding Player Award",[9][14] and the 1962 winner was recognized as the AP's "Player of the Year".[15][16] The AP considers 1961 to be the first year in which it presented a "Most Valuable Player" award.[15][17][18] Thus there are numerous inconsistencies among sources regarding each of the first four awards, and whether or not the winners are included in the overall list of AP MVP winners at all. The discrepancies include 1958's winner being either Jim Brown or Gino Marchetti; the 1959 winner as Johnny Unitas or Charlie Conerly; and whether or not Norm Van Brocklin shared the award in 1960 with Joe Schmidt.[15]

MVP Super bowl curseEdit

In recent years, if a player that won the MVP makes it to the Super Bowl, the MVP often loses the Super Bowl in the year they won the MVP. That includes, Kurt Warner in 2001, Rich Gannon in 2002, Shaun Alexander in 2005, Tom Brady in 2007 and 2017, Peyton Manning in 2009 and 2013, Cam Newton in 2015, and Matt Ryan in 2016.[19]

Ten players have won the Super Bowl and MVP in the same season: Bart Starr in 1966, Terry Bradshaw in 1978, Mark Moseley in 1982, Lawrence Taylor in 1986, Joe Montana in 1989, Emmitt Smith in 1993, Steve Young in 1994, Brett Favre in 1996, Terrell Davis in 1998, and Kurt Warner in 1999. In these ten cases, all but four regular season MVP winners were also the Super Bowl MVP for their respective games - with Moseley, Taylor, Favre, and Davis not completing the duplicate MVP year.

WinnersEdit

 
Johnny Unitas won three AP NFL MVP awards as quarterback of the Baltimore Colts.
 
Quarterback Bart Starr was awarded in 1966 after passing for 2,257 yards and 14 touchdowns and leading the Green Bay Packers to Super Bowl I.[20]
 
Running back O. J. Simpson became the first player to rush for 2,000 yards in a season en route to winning the 1973 award with the Buffalo Bills.[21]
 
Running back Marcus Allen set an NFL record with 2,314 yards from scrimmage in 1985 for the Los Angeles Raiders.[22]
 
Quarterback Brett Favre won three straight awards from 1995 to 1997 with the Green Bay Packers.
 
Quarterback Peyton Manning won four awards with the Indianapolis Colts and one with the Denver Broncos. He is the only player to win an MVP award with two teams.
Legend
Winner received all available votes
Winner received at least 90% of available votes
AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award winners
Season Player Position Team Votes Ref
1957 Jim Brown Running back Cleveland Browns 14 of 36 (39%) [23][24]
1958 Jim Brown (2) 22 of 41 (54%) [25][26][24]
1959 Johnny Unitas Quarterback Baltimore Colts 20 of 37 (54%) [27][24]
1960 Norm Van Brocklin Philadelphia Eagles Not released [26][24]
1961 Paul Hornung Running back Green Bay Packers Not released [28]
1962 Jim Taylor 19 of 40 (48%) [29]
1963 Y. A. Tittle Quarterback New York Giants 33 of 40 (79%) [30]
1964 Johnny Unitas (2) Baltimore Colts 32 of 40 (80%) [31]
1965 Jim Brown (3) Running back Cleveland Browns 34 of 42 (81%) [32]
1966 Bart Starr Quarterback Green Bay Packers 19 of 40 (48%) [20]
1967 Johnny Unitas (3) Baltimore Colts 40 of 47 (81%) [33]
1968 Earl Morrall 33 of 46 (81%) [34]
1969 Roman Gabriel Los Angeles Rams 21+13 of 48 (44%) [35]
1970 John Brodie San Francisco 49ers 33 of 78 (42%) [36]
1971 Alan Page Defensive tackle Minnesota Vikings 16 of 60 (21%) [37]
1972 Larry Brown Running back Washington Redskins 45 of 75 (40%) [38]
1973 O. J. Simpson Buffalo Bills 74 of 78 (95%) [21]
1974 Ken Stabler Quarterback Oakland Raiders 36 of 78 (46%) [39]
1975 Fran Tarkenton Minnesota Vikings Not released [40]
1976 Bert Jones Baltimore Colts 41 of 84 (49%) [41]
1977 Walter Payton Running back Chicago Bears 57 of 84 (68%) [42]
1978 Terry Bradshaw Quarterback Pittsburgh Steelers 36 of 84 (43%) [43]
1979 Earl Campbell Running back Houston Oilers 34 of 84 (41%) [44]
1980 Brian Sipe Quarterback Cleveland Browns 47 of 84 (56%) [45]
1981 Ken Anderson Cincinnati Bengals 46 of 84 (55%) [46]
1982 Mark Moseley Placekicker Washington Redskins 35 of 84 (42%) [47]
1983 Joe Theismann Quarterback 58 of 84 (69%) [48]
1984 Dan Marino Miami Dolphins 52 of 84 (62%) [49]
1985 Marcus Allen Running back Los Angeles Raiders 33 of 84 (39%) [22]
1986 Lawrence Taylor Linebacker New York Giants 41 of 84 (49%) [50]
1987 John Elway Quarterback Denver Broncos 36 of 84 (43%) [51]
1988 Boomer Esiason Cincinnati Bengals 31 of 78 (40%) [52]
1989 Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers 62 of 70 (89%) [53]
1990 Joe Montana (2) 26 of 80 (33%) [54]
1991 Thurman Thomas Running back Buffalo Bills 39 of 82 (48%) [55]
1992 Steve Young Quarterback San Francisco 49ers 56 of 80 (70%) [56]
1993 Emmitt Smith Running back Dallas Cowboys 26 of 81 (32%) [57]
1994 Steve Young (2) Quarterback San Francisco 49ers 74 of 98 (75%) [58]
1995 Brett Favre Green Bay Packers 69 of 88 (78%) [59]
1996 Brett Favre (2) 52 of 93 (56%) [60]
1997 Brett Favre (3)
Barry Sanders
Quarterback
Running back
Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions
18 of 48 (38%) [61]
1998 Terrell Davis Running back Denver Broncos 25 of 47 (53%) [62]
1999 Kurt Warner Quarterback St. Louis Rams 33 of 50 (66%) [63]
2000 Marshall Faulk Running back 24 of 50 (48%) [64]
2001 Kurt Warner (2) Quarterback 21+12 of 50 (43%) [65]
2002 Rich Gannon Oakland Raiders 19 of 48 (40%) [66]
2003 Peyton Manning
Steve McNair
Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans
16 of 50 (32%) [67]
2004 Peyton Manning (2) Indianapolis Colts 47 of 48 (98%) [68]
2005 Shaun Alexander Running back Seattle Seahawks 19 of 50 (38%) [69]
2006 LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers 44 of 50 (88%) [70]
2007 Tom Brady Quarterback New England Patriots 49 of 50 (98%) [71]
2008 Peyton Manning (3) Indianapolis Colts 32 of 50 (64%) [72]
2009 Peyton Manning (4) 39+12 of 50 (79%) [73]
2010 Tom Brady (2) New England Patriots 50 of 50 (100%) [74]
2011 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers 48 of 50 (96%) [75]
2012 Adrian Peterson Running back Minnesota Vikings 30+12 of 50 (61%) [76]
2013 Peyton Manning (5) Quarterback Denver Broncos 49 of 50 (98%) [77]
2014 Aaron Rodgers (2) Green Bay Packers 31 of 50 (62%) [78]
2015 Cam Newton Carolina Panthers 48 of 50 (96%) [79]
2016 Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons 25 of 50 (50%) [80]
2017 Tom Brady (3) New England Patriots 40 of 50 (80%) [81]
2018 Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs 41 of 50 (82%) [82]
2019 Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens 50 of 50 (100%) [83]
2020 Aaron Rodgers (3) Green Bay Packers 44 of 50 (88%) [84]
2021 Aaron Rodgers (4) 39 of 50 (78%) [85]

Multiple-time winnersEdit

Awards Player Team(s) Years Year inducted into
Pro Football Hall of Fame
5 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009 2021
Denver Broncos 2013
4 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers 2011, 2014, 2020, 2021 Active
3 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns 1957, 1958, 1965 1971
Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1959, 1964, 1967 1979
Brett Favre Green Bay Packers 1995, 1996, 1997 2016
Tom Brady New England Patriots 2007, 2010, 2017 Active
2 Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers 1989, 1990 2000
Steve Young 1992, 1994 2005
Kurt Warner St. Louis Rams 1999, 2001 2017

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

General
  • "AP NFL Most Valuable Player Winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  • "Full list of NFL MVP winners". Sports Illustrated. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  • Gellerman, Jacob; Drexler, Sam; Marini, Matt; Cocchiaro, Nicolas; Zerkel, Alex, eds. (2016). 2018 Official NFL Record and Fact Book (PDF). National Football League. pp. 522–523. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
Footnotes
  1. ^ Bieler, Des (January 20, 2016). "Pro Football Writers name Cam Newton their NFL MVP". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 22, 2016. The AP NFL awards, which essentially serve as the official league honors...
  2. ^ Thomas, Jim (January 10, 2002). "Warner is in hunt for another NFL honor". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 20. Retrieved February 2, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. The Associated Press MVP award is the most prestigious, but it's only Round 1 when it comes to NFL player-of-the-year awards.
  3. ^ "First-ever 'NFL Honors' show will be hosted by Baldwin in Indy". NFL.com. National Football League. January 3, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  4. ^ "Tom Brady Wins His Third M.V.P. Award". The New York Times. Associated Press. February 3, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Kreinberg, Jake (February 3, 2016). "How we count the votes for the NFL's top awards". AP Insights. Associated Press. Retrieved August 2, 2016. I think the first year we gave out awards was 1957.
  6. ^ Jamison, Hensley. "Ravens QB Lamar Jackson unanimous pick for NFL MVP after historic season". ESPN. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  7. ^ Mays, Robert (December 12, 2014). "How Hard Is It for a Defensive Player to Win NFL MVP? Just Ask These Guys". Grantland. ESPN. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  8. ^ Greenberg, Micah (December 21, 2016). "Forget the MVP, Award Position Groups". Fox Sports. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Lee, Brenden; Gellerman, Jacob; King, Robert, eds. (2015). 2015 Official NFL Record and Fact Book (PDF). National Football League. p. 524. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  10. ^ Campbell, Dave (February 5, 2018). "Brady takes his 3rd Super Bowl loss, despite 500-yard game". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Breech, John (February 2, 2017). "Tom Brady, Matt Ryan beware: NFL MVP is in the middle of an ugly Super Bowl drought". CBS Sports. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  12. ^ Joyner, KC (January 28, 2016). "Why Cam Newton should worry about MVP curse in Super Bowl 50". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
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  14. ^ Garven, Rich (December 18, 2016). "Strong showing in Denver should bolster Brady for MVP". The Providence Journal. Retrieved February 1, 2017. Including the four years prior to 1961 when it was known as the Most Outstanding Player award...
  15. ^ a b c Turney, John (January 11, 2010). "AP gets it partially right". Pro Football Weekly. Archived from the original on December 16, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
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  17. ^ Pelissero, Tom (December 22, 2016). "Who's the NFL MVP: Our sampling of executives gives Ezekiel Elliott the edge". USA Today. Retrieved February 1, 2017. Fifty media members (I'm one of them) will vote by Jan. 4 for awards given out by The Associated Press, which began awarding the MVP in 1961 and has never given it to a rookie. (Cleveland Browns fullback Jim Brown did win what was then called NFL Player of the Year in his rookie year in 1957.)
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  21. ^ a b "O. J. Simpson Selected Most Valuable In NFL". Palladium-Item. Associated Press. January 10, 1974. p. 17. Retrieved January 31, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ a b "Raiders' Allen MVP in NFL". The Zanesville Times-Reporter. Associated Press. December 30, 1985. p. 3-B – via Newspapers.com.
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    "AP NFL Most Valuable Player Winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
    "Full list of NFL MVP winners". Sports Illustrated. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
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  26. ^ a b Lee, Brenden; Gellerman, Jacob; Marini, Matt, eds. (2016). 2016 Official NFL Record and Fact Book (PDF). National Football League. pp. 524–525. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
    Janssen, Sarah (December 6, 2016). The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2017. Simon and Schuster. p. 1,994. ISBN 978-1600572074. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
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  53. ^ "AP Names Montana MVP". Albuquerque Journal. Associated Press. January 3, 1990. p. 17. Retrieved February 1, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
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