In any field or area of work, there are those individuals who happen to excel more than others. This may be due to natural talent or just the sheer determination and will to succeed and become the very best. Often, institutions and organizations do honour and reward such individuals who demonstrate great excellence in conducting their work duties and responsibilities. On the sports front, the conduct of rewarding top performers is very prevalent. In this article, we are going to take time in appreciating how the National Football League (NFL) recognizes, appreciates and rewards its top performers.

MVP – What is it?

The NFL at the end of each and every regular season does pick one player that it dubs the MVP for the Season. MVP stands for Most Valuable Player and it’s a prestigious recognition to any player who receives it.

Brief History of MVP NFL

The MVP NFL has a long history as the first recipient of the prestigious recognition received it in 1957. 50 sportswriters are chosen by the Associated Press to choose the player whom they think is the ‘most valuable’ over the course of a season. The sportswriters only choose the player whom they think has been performing above all others over the course of the regular season only – playoffs performances are not considered even though the MVP results are not announced to the general public until the day before the Super Bowl.

The sportswriters chosen by the Associated Press to choose the MVP are chosen on expertise and are independent of the league itself. Rarely do the sportswriters unanimously choose an MVP candidate. Only two players in the NFL history have won the MVP unanimously that is, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in 2010 (then playing for New England Patriots) and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2019.

Since 1957, the sportswriters chosen to select the MVP have shown a tendency to favour offensive players in their selections. 54 of the past MVP winners have all been offensive players – quarterbacks dominate with 38 of them having won the prestigious award. The only two defensive players that have won the award are Alan Page in 1971 playing as a defensive tackle and Lawrence Taylor in 1986 playing as a linebacker.

There is a general belief that the MVP award does bring bad luck to the team of the player who wins it. Since the first time the MVP award was awarded, only 10 MVP winners have gone on to win the Super Bowl in that same year. A huge majority of the MVP winners fail to win the Super Bowl.

Leading MVP Candidates for 2021

Though the regular NFL 2021 season is still ongoing, permutations and predictions for the likely candidates to win the 2021 MVP award are already doing the circles. Below are five of the leading candidates to win the MVP award for 2021:

  • Patrick Mahomes at +500
  • Aaron Rodgers at +1000
  • Josh Allen at +1000
  • Russell Wilson at +1400
  • Dak Prescott at +1400

MVP Players from Previous Seasons

The past 10 MVP NFL winners are as follows:

  • 2020: Aaron Rodgers playing for the Green Bay Packers
  • 2019: Lamar Jackson playing for the Baltimore Ravens
  • 2018: Patrick Mahomes playing for the Kansas City Chiefs
  • 2017: Tom Brady playing for the New England Patriots
  • 2016: Matt Ryan playing for the Atlanta Falcons
  • 2015: Cam Newton playing for the Carolina Panthers
  • 2014: Aaron Rodgers playing for the Green Bay Packers
  • 2013: Peyton Manning playing for the Denver Broncos
  • 2012: Adrian Peterson playing for the Minnesota Vikings
  • 2011: Aaron Rodgers playing for the Green Bay Packers
  • 2010: Tom Brady playing for the New England Patriots