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Should the NFL Incorporate a Cy Young Award?

It is no secret that the NFL is a quarterback-driven league. Quarterbacks are the faces of the franchises and, realistically, the faces of the league. Sunday and Monday night games are often headlined by the two quarterbacks. Rodgers vs. Brady and Mahomes vs. Jackson viewers come to watch these matchups. The last eight NFL MVPs and 13 out of the last 14 have been quarterbacks. This begs the question, should there be a separate award for the best quarterback in the NFL?

nfl award mvp cy young
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Cy Young Award

The MLB has a Cy Young Award in place to help differentiate between the best pitcher and the best position player. This has really helped to determine who is the best pitcher and best positional player in baseball. The pitcher position and the quarterback position are similar in that both positions have the most control over the game at any point. Every other position in both games is basing their first move off of the pitcher/quarterback’s first move.

The positives to having this award in the NFL would be that players like pass rushers, running backs and defensive backs would get the recognition that they deserve. If the NFL had Cy Young voting like the MLB does, it would also give us a more efficient way to determine who the best non-quarterback was in the past season. Players like Jerry Rice, Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson were some of the best players in NFL history. Something that is missing from their legacy though is an MVP award. Matt Ryan has won an MVP but Jerry Rice hasn’t.

The biggest argument for the NFL to adopt a Cy Young-type of award is that people are tired of watching quarterbacks win the MVP every season when there are other players in the NFL who can be considered the best. Is Patrick Mahomes the best player in football? Maybe. But players like Aaron Donald and Derrick Henry are pretty close. Sure, they have the Offensive Player of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year in place, but that once again doesn’t really prove who the best player in football is.

Clayton Kershaw
Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

Players that Would Have Won the NFL MVP with this Award in Place

YearReal MVPNew MVP
2020Aaron RodgersDerrick Henry
2019Lamar JacksonChristian McCaffrey
2018Patrick MahomesAaron Donald
2017Tom BradyTodd Gurley
2016Matt RyanEzekiel Elliott
2015Cam NewtonAntonio Brown
2014Aaron RodgersJ.J Watt
2013Peyton Manning Adrian Peterson
2012Adrian PetersonAdrian Peterson
2011Aaron RodgersCalvin Johnson

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