Last night the NFL celebrated the 2023 regular season at the thirteenth annual NFL Honors ceremony. Keegan-Michael Key hosted the event. Award winners were celebrated and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 was unveiled.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson took him his second NFL MVP Award. Jackson was the Most Valuable Player of the 2019 season as well. San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey took home Offensive Player of the Year. McCaffrey accepted the award in person, despite preparing to play in Super Bowl 58 on Sunday. On the other side of the football, Cleveland Browns defensive end took home his first Defensive Player of the Year.
Houston Texans teammates C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson won Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year Awards respectively. Their coach, DeMeco Ryans, barely missed out on winning NFL Coach of the Year. He tied Browns coach Kevin Stefanski in points, but Stefanski won courtesy of one more first-place vote.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco (Comeback Player of the Year) and Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz (Assitant Coach of the Year) were among the other honorees.
The night concluded with Cam Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers winning the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Jonathan Jones was the New England Patriots nominee.
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024
Five Modern Era candidates joined the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but Patriots legend Rodney Harrison was not among them. The players headed to Canton will be Dwight Freeney, Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, Julius Peppers, and Patrick Willis.
Those five are joined in the Class of 2024 by Veterans Committee selections Randy Grandishar and Steve McMichael.
Tight end Antonio Gates, a first-time eligible candidate, was among the most surprising omissions.
Patriots Featured During NFL Honors
While the Patriots did not have any finalists for the awards voted on by the Associated Press (not surprising given their 4-13 record) they did not leave empty-handed. Joe Cardona officially accepted his NFL Salute to Service Award, with a nice video tribute to his service accompanying the announcement.
New England also had two former players featured during the “In Memoriam” tribute: Ryan Mallett and Russ Francis. The music to the slideshow was an acapella version of Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterdays” sung by the NFL Players Choir. Former Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain is among the group’s members.
Although Rodney Harrison was kept out of Canton for at least one more year, Steve McMichael was drafted by New England in 1980. He played his rookie year with the Patriots. Also, Assistant Coach of the Year Jim Schwartz is a former Patriots assistant.
Also in today’s Patriots Daily…
New England Patriots
Patriots Football Now – Rodney Harrison belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Patriots Football Now – Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski show support for Bill Belichick
New England Patriots Staff
Patriots Football Now – Nine candidates for Patriots remaining offensive assistant jobs
Patriots Football Now – Mike Pellegrino retained as Patriots cornerbacks coach
Patriots Football Now – Patriots Rumors: Wolf might want offensive tackle at three
Patriots Football Now – NFL Mock Draft 2.0
Super Bowl 58 News
NFL.com – Can Chiefs RB Isaiah Pacheco take advantage of 49ers leaky run defense?
Pro Football Network – Deebo Samuel: So easy to coach, so hard to defend
Yardbarker –Super Bowl MVP quiz
ESPN – Super Bowl 58 better for beginners
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Football Fun Fact of the Day
Usher is one of ten Super Bowl halftime performers with one name. He is joined by Nelly, Sting, Prince, Slash, Madonna, Beyonce, Shakira, Eminem, and Rihanna.
Usher also was part of the Super Bowl 45 halftime show, alongside The Black Eyed Peas and Slash. Performers such as Bono are not included here, as he performed as part of their group name, U2.
Tweet of the Day
Tweet of the Day comes from New England Patriots captain NFL Memes. Not sure if people should be preparing for another Kansas City Chiefs victory parade or COVID-24 …
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) February 8, 2024