Awards = HOF?: Part Forty-Three: The NFL AP MVP

Awards = HOF?: Part Forty-Three: The NFL AP MVP
25 Jan
2020
Not in Hall of Fame

We here at Notinhalloffame.com thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least number of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

Last time, we looked at the Vezina Trophy in the NHL.  This time, we go back to the gridiron with the NFL AP MVP.

The award got off to a rocky start.  From 1957 to 1960, as it was disputed as the pre-1961 winners winning a Most Outstanding Player Award, and sources show multiple winners. In the years between 1958 to 1960.  For our purposes, we will use the single names, as shown by Pro Football Reference. In 1961, the AP MVP was clear, presenting a specific MVP Award, thus negating any confusion.

So how many MVPs have made the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Let’s find out!

The following are the past players who have won the NFL AP MVP who are eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and have been enshrined.

Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns, Running Back (1957)

Hard to start with a better player isn’t it?  This was Brown’s rookie year, and the product of Syracuse shot right out of the gate leading the NFL in Rushing Yards (942), Rushing Touchdowns (9), and Touchdowns (10), which was a precursor of the greatness to come.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns, Running Back (2) (1958)

The rookie season of Jim Brown was really good, but his sophomore season was groundbreaking.  The Running Back shattered the Rushing Yards mark with 1,527 (Steve Van Buren rushed for 1,146 in 1949) and his 17 Rushing Touchdowns were staggering for the era.  This would be the first of five seasons where he would lead the NFL in Yards from Scrimmage. Brown would also win the UPI MVP and NEA MVP this season.  It took only two years for us to have our first repeat winner.   Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts, Quarterback (1959)      

Johnny Unitas led the Baltimore Colts to the NFL Championship, and in his fourth season in the NFL, he would take his team to back-to-back titles.  This year, “Johnny U” led the NFL in Completions (193), Passing Yards (2,899), Touchdown Passes (32), and he was a First Team All-Pro for the second time.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

Norm Van Brocklin, Philadelphia Eagles, Quarterback (1960)

Norm Van Brocklin was a grizzled veteran by this time, as he played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1949 to 1957, and he joined the Eagles in 1958.  A Champion with the Rams in 1951, the 1960 campaign would see him go 10-2, with 2,471 Yards, and 24 Touchdowns.  In what was his ninth Pro Bowl, he would go to his first and only First Team All-Pro, while also leading the Eagles to the NFL Championship.  This was his last year as a player, as he hoped to be named the team’s head coach after.  That didn’t happen, but he would take over as the HC for the Minnesota Vikings.  Van Brocklin retired with a record of 61-36-4 with 23,611 Yards and 173 Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers, Halfback & Kicker (1961)

A former Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame, Paul Hornung played his entire with the Green Bay Packers, and in 1960, he rushed for 597 Yards.  The Packers would also win the NFL Championship that year, and he was also rewarded with the Bert Bell Award.  Hornung played until 1966, and won three more titles with Green Bay.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

Jim Taylor, Green Bay Packers, Fullback (1962)

The MVP year of Jim Taylor made him the second straight Green Bay Packer to win the AP MVP.  The Fullback led the NFL in Rushing Yards (1,474), Rushing Touchdowns (19), and he was on the third of five straight Pro Bowls.  The Packers would win the NFL Championship and he would win four in total.  Taylor played until 1967 (his final year was in New Orleans), and he would accumulate 8,597 Rushing Yards with 81 Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.

Y.A. Tittle, New York Giants, Quarterback (1963)

In the 1950s, Y.A. Tittle was a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the San Francisco 49ers, and at the age of 34 in 1961, he was traded to the New York Giants.  There were many who thought he was washed up, but instead the next three seasons would see Tittle secure himself as a Hall of Famer.  A Pro Bowler in 1961, and 1962, Tittle would have the best year of his life in 1963, where he would lead the NFL in Completion Percentage (60.2), Touchdown Passes (36), Quarterback Rating (104.8), and threw for 3,145 Yards. He only played one more season, and after getting hurt in the second game, he was ineffective and followed his best year with his worst.  Overall, Tittle threw for 33,070 Yards and 242 Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts, Quarterback (2) (1964)

This season, Unitas took his team to the NFL Championship, though they would fall to the Cleveland Browns in an upset. Regardless, this was a stellar regular season for the “Golden Arm”, as Unitas was chosen for his third First Team All-Prom and he threw for 19 TDs against only 6 Interceptions.  Unitas also went 12-2 with 2,824 Yards.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns, Running Back (3) (1965)

After his second win, Brown remained the elite running back in football.  In 1963, he had his best season with a record setting a new record with 1,863 Rushing Yards. He didn’t win the AP MVP, but did win the UPI MVP, NEA MVP and Bert Bell Award. 1965 would be Brown’s last season in the NFL, as he would abruptly retire, and pursue a career in acting. Brown remains the only player to win the MVP in his first and final year in the NFL.  He was a Pro Bowl in all of his nine years, and a First Team All-Pro in eight of them.  This win also made him the first player to win the AP MVP three times.  Brown also won the Rushing Title in eight of those years. He left the game as the first player to rush for 10,000 Yards, was the all-time leader in Rushing Yards (12,312), Rushing Touchdowns (106), Touchdowns (126), and All-Purpose Yards (15,549). While those numbers have since been broken, he did retire at the top of his game, and many still consider him he be the greatest Running Back of all-time.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers, Quarterback (1966)

Joining the Green Bay Packers in 1956, Bart Starr would evolve into one of the best Quarterbacks of the game, and he would lead his star-laden team to NFL Championships in 1961, 1962 & 1965. In 1966, he would lead the NFL in Pass Completion (62.2), and had a TD-INT rate of 14-3.  He would take the Packers to another NFL Championship, and they would soundly defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I.   How fitting is it that the QB of the first Super Bowl is also the first MVP in the Super Bowl Era?  Starr won his fifth NFL Championship and second Super Bowl the season after, and he retired in 1971, in a career spent entirely in the “Frozen Tundra”.  He would have 24,718 Passing Yard with 152 TDs over his career.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts, Quarterback (3) (1967)

Arguably, this is the last great season of Unitas’s career, who would play until 1973, with one forgettable year in San Diego. 1967 saw him go to his tenth Pro Bowl and fifth First Team All-Pro, both of which would be his last.  Unitas threw for 20 Touchdowns and 3,428 Yards, and for the first and only time in his career, he led the NFL in Completion Percentage (58.5).  When he retired, he had a record of 118-63-4, 40,239 Passing Yards and 290 Touchdowns. He is a member of the 1960s All-Decade Team, 75thAnniversary Team and 100thAnniversary Team. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings, Defensive Tackle(1971)

A member of the famed “Purple People Eaters” Defense of the Vikings in the 1970s, Alan Page was the first defensive player and the first Minnesota Viking to win the AP MVP.  This year, Page was chosen for his third straight First Team All-Pro, but was also in his third consecutive season where he would lead the NFL in Approximate Value.  He would also be named the Defensive Player of the Year.  Page would go on to be named to three more First Team All-Pros, and he would overall go to nine Pro Bowls.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

O.J. Simpson, Buffalo Bills, Running Back (1973)

In 1973, O.J. Simpson would become the first Running Back to rush for the elusive 2,000 Rushing Yards mark, when he finished with 2,003.  Needless to say, that led the NFL, as did his 12 Rushing Touchdowns and 2,073 All-Purpose Yards.  He would also win the Offensive Player of the Year and the Bert Bell Award that year. Simpson was in year two of his five-year run of First Team All-Pros, where he would win the Rushing Title in four of those years.  Simpson played until 1979, and would have 11,236 Rushing Yards with 108 total Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders, Quarterback (1974)

“The Snake”, Ken Stabler, would be in chosen for his second of four Pro Bowls this year, and he led the NFL in Touchdown Passes (26) with 2,469 Yards.  Stabler would play football until 1984, and would take the Raiders to a win in Super Bowl XI.  Overall, Stabler would throw for 27,938 Yards for 194 Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings, Quarterback(1975)

The best scrambling Quarterback of the 1970s, Fran Tarkenton would lead the NFL in Completions (273) and Touchdown Passes (25) with 2,994 Yards.   He would also win the Bert Bell Award this year.  This was his eighth of nine Pro Bowl Selections, and he would finish his career with 47,003 Yards and 342 Touchdowns, while also rushing for 3,674 Yards and another 32 TDs.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

Walter Payton, Chicago Bears, Running Back (1977)

Walter Payton played his entire career with the Chicago Bears, and he would become one of the best Running Backs that the game ever saw.  1977, was his third season, and this year he would have personal highs with 1,852 Rushing Yards 1n 14 Rushing Touchdowns, both of which would lead the NFL.  Payton also led the NFL in Yards from Scrimmage with 2,121.  This would be the second of five First Team All-Pros for “Sweetness” who also was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection.  He would later win the Super Bowl with the Super Bowl Shuffle winning team, and he would retire in 1987 as the all-time leading rusher with 16,727 Yards.  He would also have another 4,538 Receiving Yards with 125 total Touchdowns.  Payton was so regarded for his philanthropy that he Man of the Year Award was renamed the Walter Payton Man of the Year.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers, Quarterback (1978)

You win a lot of games when you have as good a defense as Terry Bradshaw had with the Steel Curtain, but don’t mistake that for the Quarterback not doing his fair share.  Playing his entire career (1970-83) with Pittsburgh, Bradshaw won four Super Bowls, with 1978 being his third.  This season, he would lead the NFL in Touchdown Passes (28) with 2,915 Passing Yards.  He retired in 1983 with 27,989 Passing Yards and 212 TDs.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.

Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers, Running Back (1979)

Coming out of the University of Texas, Earl Campbell was the best Running Back in the first three years of his NFL career, all of which seeing him win the Rushing Title and Offensive Player of the Year.  1979 was the second of those seasons, and in addition to leading the NFL in Rushing Yards (1,697) and also first in Rushing Touchdowns (19).  He also won the Bert Bell Award.  Campbell would play until 1985 and would have 10,213 Yards from Scrimmage with 74 Touchdowns over his career.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins, Quarterback (1984)

Playing his entire career with the Miami Dolphins, this was the second season that Dan Marino was in the NFL.  This year, he shattered the Passing Yards record with 5,084, making him the first QB to hit the 5,000 mark.  He also threw for 48 Touchdowns, destroying Y.A. Tittle’s 36 in 1963. Marino was also first in Quarterback rating (108.9), Approximate Value (21), and Completions (362).  The Dolphin pivot would lead the NFL in Passing Yards four more times, and after he retired in 1999, he would have 61,361 Yards with 420 Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.  

Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders, Running Back (1985)

Already a Super Bowl Champion two years before, Marcus Allen’s 1985 season was the best of his life.  The former USC Running Back would lead the NFL in Rushing Yards (1,759) and Yards from Scrimmage (2,314), and he had 14 Touchdowns.  Allen played for the Raiders until 1992, and he would then join the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played until he retired in 1997. Allen ended his career with 12,243 Rushing Touchdowns, 5,411 Passing Yards, 144 total Touchdowns and six Pro Bowls. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.

Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants, Linebacker (1986)

Arguably the greatest Linebacker of all time, Lawrence Taylor debuted in 1981, where he began a six-year streak of First Team All-Pro Selections.  This season, Taylor would lead the NFL in Quarterback Sacks (20.5) and won his third Defensive Player of the Year Award.  Taylor also won the Bert Bell Award.  He would take the Giants to a Super Bowl win this year, and again four years later.  Taylor played his entire career with the Giants, and would play in 10 Pro Bowls and recorded 132.5 Sacks over his career.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

John Elway, Denver Broncos, Quarterback (1987)

John Elway was a great Quarterback, but this was a bit of a curious selection, as he lost the First Team All-Pro to Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers.  Elway took the Broncos to the Super Bowl (they lost to Washington) and he threw for 3,198 Passing Yards and 19 Touchdowns.  He would have better seasons than this, though he was a Pro Bowler this year, which was his second of what would be nine.  He would finally win his Super Bowls in the 1997 and 1998 season, and he retired after with 5,1475 Passing Yards, 300 Touchdown Passes and 33 Rushing Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers, Quarterback (1989)

You would have thought that Joe Montana would have won an MVP by now considering that prior to 1989, he had already won three Super Bowls with five Pro Bowls and a First Team All-Pro.  “Joe Cool” also had already led the NFL in Touchdown passes twice and Completion Percentage four times.  This year, Montana would win his fourth Super Bowl, was again a First Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl, and he again led the league in Completion Percentage (70.2).  Montana also threw for 3,521 Passing Yards and 26 TDs.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers, Quarterback (2) (1990)

While the Niners did not win the Super Bowl this year, Montana still had a great season and took San Francisco deep into the playoffs.  The Quarterback would go 14-1 with 3,944 Passing Yards and 26 TDs.  He missed the entire 1991 season due to an elbow injury, and Steve Young was anointed his successor.  He played two final seasons in the league with the Kansas City Chiefs, and retired in 1994.  He left the game with 40,551 Passing Yards and 273 Touchdown Passes.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Thurman Thomas, Buffalo Bills, Running Back (1991)

Along with Jim Kelly and Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas and the Buffalo Bills won four straight AFC Championships, with 1991 being in the middle of it.  From 1989 to 1992, Thomas would annually lead the NFL in Yards from Scrimmage, this year seeing the Running Back gain 2,038 with 12 Touchdowns.  He played with Buffalo until 1999, with one final season spent in Miami.  Thomas retired with 12,074 Rushing Yards, 4,458 Receiving Yards and 88 Touchdowns. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers, Quarterback (1992)

While Steve Young was the starting Quarterback for the 49ers in 1991, 1992 was the year where he proved he should be.  Young led the NFL in Completion Percentage (66.7), Touchdown Passes (25) and Quarterback Rating (107.0), and would go to his first of seven straight Pro Bowls.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys, Running Back (1993)

Emmitt Smith and the Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl the year before, and in 1993 he won his third straight Rushing Title with 1,486 Yards.  Smith was also first in Yards from Scrimmage (1,900) and he also won the Bert Bell Award. Dallas would win the Super Bowl with Smith winning the Super Bowl MVP.  Smith would be named to the next two First Team All-Pros and secured a third Super Bowl ring two later, which coincided with his fourth Rushing Title.  The Running Back played for Dallas until 2002, and had two final seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before he called it a career in 2004. He retired with 18,355 Rushing Yards and 164 Rushing Touchdowns, which makes him first all-time.  Smith is also second all-time in All-Purpose Yards with 21,579.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers, Quarterback (2)(1994)

In 1993, Young was again a First Team All-Pro, and his third would be this season.  Young led the NFL in Completion Percentage (70.3), 35 Passing Touchdowns and QB Rating (112.8).  Young would also lead San Francisco to a Super Bowl win this year.  He would have three more seasons where he finished first in Completion Percentage, one more in Touchdown Passes, and two more in QB Rating.  Young played until 1999, and retired with 33,124 Passing Yards, 232 Touchdown Passes, 4,239 Rushing Yards and 43 Rushing TDs.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers, Quarterback (1995)

After four attempts (with no completions) for the Atlanta Falcons in 1992, Brett Favre joined the Green Bay Packers where he went to the Pro Bowl in both 1992 and 1993.  In 1995, “The Gunslinger” earned his third Pro Bowl, his first First Team All-Pro, and he would lead the NFL in Passing Yards (4,413), Touchdown Passes (38), and he also won the Bert Bell Award.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers (2), Quarterback(1996)

Favre had another phenomenal year where he went to Pro Bowl number four, First Team All-Pro number two, and again won the MVP and the Bert Bell Award.  Statistically, he led the NFL in Touchdown Passes (39) with 3,899 Passing Yards, and he would lead the Packers to a Super Bowl win.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers (3), Quarterback(1997)

Favre became the first player to win the AP MVP for the third straight season and he earned his fifth Pro Bowl and third First Team All-Pro.  The Quarterback again led the NFL in Touchdown Passes with 35 and had 3,867 Yards, and Green Bay would again return to the Super Bowl, though this time they would lose to the Denver Broncos.  Favre would have four more Pro Bowls with Green Bay, one with the Jets, and one with the Vikings and retired in 2010.  He would finish his career with 71,838 Passing Yards and 508 Touchdown Passes. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions, Running Back (1998)

Barry Sanders played his entire career with the Detroit Lions, debuting in 1989, where he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and was a First Team All-Pro.  Sanders would also win the Bert Bell Award, and was the 1994 Offensive Player of the Year.  In 1997, he would again win that award, but would also capture the AP MVP and his second Bert Bell Award.  In 1997, Sanders won his fourth Rushing Title with a career-high 2,053 Rushing Yards. He also rushed for 11 Touchdowns, and was first overall in Yards from Scrimmage with 2,358.  Sanders played one more season, retiring in his prime at 30, and he was named to the Pro Bowl in all 10 of his years in the NFL.  He ended his career with 15,269 Rushing Yards, 2,921 Receiving Yards and 109 Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Terrell Davis, Denver Broncos, Running Back (1998)

From 1996 to 1998, Terrell Davis was a First Team All-Pro Selection, and this was his best year of them all.  T.D. anchored Denver to a Super Bowl win the year before, and would do so again this season where he won the Super Bowl MVP.  In the regular season, he won the Rushing Title with 2,008 Yards and led the NFL in Rushing Touchdowns with 21.  Davis would suffer a torn ACL and MCL the year after, and he was limited after that, retiring in 2001 with 7,607 career Rushing Yards.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.

Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams, Quarterback (1999)

1999 was the improbable season ever for a Quarterback.  Kurt Warner went from Northern Iowa to bagging groceries to the Arena League and then to the NFL, where he won the back-up job to Trent Green, which in itself was a huge accomplishment.  Green would be injured in the preseason, and Warner was the starting QB, and he made the most of his opportunity.  The leader of the “Greatest Show on Turf”, Warner would throw for 4,353 Yards and lead the NFL in Completion Percentage (65.1), Touchdown Passes (41) and Quarterback Rating (109.2).  Warner would then lead the Rams to a Super Bowl Championship.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.

Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams, Running Back (2000)

Sandwiched between Kurt Warner’s MVPs was his Running Back, Marshall Faulk.  Faulk was with the Indianapolis Colts for the first five years of his career where he would go to three Pro Bowls and was the Offensive Rookie of the Year.  Faulk joined the Rams in 1999, and he helped Warner and the Rams win the Super Bowl and was the Offensive Player of the Year.  In his 2000 MVP season, Faulk led the NFL with 18 Rushing Touchdowns, 26 Total Touchdowns and had 2,189 Yards from Scrimmage. 2001 would see Faulk win the Bert Bell Award and the Offensive Player of the Year.  He played until 2005, accumulating six Pro Bowls, three First Team All-Pros, 12,279 Rushing Yards, 6,875 Passing Yards and 136 Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams, Quarterback (2) (2001)

While Warner and the Rams did not win the Super Bowl, Warner had the best regular season of his career where he led the NFL in Completions (375), Completion Percentage (68.7), Passing Yards (4,830), Touchdown Passes (36) and Passer Rating (101.4).  He would later play one year for the Giants and five seasons for Arizona to close out his career in 2009.  He retired with 32,344 Passing Yards, 208 TDs, and the best story in sports.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.

LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers, Running Back (2006)

Debuting in 2001, Tomlinson would have 1,236 Rushing Yards, which would be the least he would have until 2008.  In his MVP season, he would win his fourth of five Pro Bowls, second of three First Team All-Pro, and his first of two Rushing Titles with 1,815.  He would also lead the NFL in Rushing Touchdowns (28) and Touchdowns (31).  Tomlinson also won the PFWA MVP, NEA MVP, Bert Bell Award, Offensive Player of the Year and Walter Payton Man of the Year.  Damn, what a season!  Tomlinson played with the Chargers until 2009, and he would have two final seasons in football with the New York Jets.  His career ended with 13,684 Rushing Touchdowns, 4,772 Receiving Touchdowns and 153 Touchdowns.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.

The following are the players who have won the NFL AP MVP in the NFL who are eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and have not been selected:

Earl Morrall, Baltimore Colts, Quarterback (1968)

Earl Morrall had one of the most inconsistent careers of any Quarterback, or for that matter any NFL player.  In 1968, he had been in the NFL for a dozen seasons and had stops in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit and New York.  Some seasons, he was a starter, some he was a backup, and he was positioned in the latter role, to play off the bench to Johnny Unitas.  Morrall would wind up taking over for Unitas, when he was injured in the last pre-season game, and Morrall responded with the best year of his career.  The Colts Quarterback would win 13 Games, and he led the NFL in Touchdown Passes with 26, and he also had 2,909 Passing Yards.  Morrall took the Colts to Super Bowl III, but he had a bad game and they lost to the Joe Namath and the New York Jets.  He would later play for the Miami Dolphins, again as a backup, but he would win two Super Bowl Rings in South Florida.  He retired in 1976, after 21 seasons, and he threw for 161 Touchdowns and 20,809 Passing Yards.  Eligible Since 1982.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Roman Gabriel, Los Angeles Rams, Quarterback (1969)

The first Filipino-American star in football, Roman Gabriel was the number one pick in the 1963 Draft, but he did not become the permanent starting Quarterback for the Rams until 1966.  He would ascend into the upper-tier of NFL pivots, and he went to the Pro Bowl each year from 1967 to 1969, and in ’69, he would lead the league in Touchdown Passes (24), and he also threw for 2,549 Yards. Gabriel would also win the Bert Bell Award this year.  Gabriel would later join the Philadelphia Eagles, winning the Comeback Player of the Year in 1973.  He played until 1977, and retired with 29,444 Passing Yards and 201 Touchdowns.  Eligible Since 1982.  Ranked #38 on Notinhalloffame.com.

John Brodie, San Francisco 49ers, Quarterback (1970)

John Brodie was one of the game’s early gunslingers, and prior to 1970, he would he would lead the NFL in Passing yards in both 1965 and 1968.  This season, he would do that for a third time with 2,941, and he was also first in Touchdown Passes with 24.  Brodie played his entire career with the San Francisco 49ers (1957-73) and he threw for 31,548 Yards and 214 Touchdowns.  Eligible Since 1982.  Ranked #25 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Larry Brown, Washington Redskins, Running Back(1972)

In the first four years of Larry Brown’s career, he was one of the better Running Backs in the NFL.  Brown, who had won the Rushing Title in 1970, would not do so in 1972, but would put up a career-high in Rushing Yards in 1972.  That season, he also had another 473 Receiving Yards, and was first in the league in Yards From Scrimmage (1,689).  Brown regressed after that, and he retired in 1975 with 8,360 Yards from Scrimmage with 55 TDs.  Eligible Since 1982.  Ranked #160 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Bert Jones, Baltimore Colts, Quarterback (1976) 

Bert Jones would have a nice career in the NFL, where he played for ten seasons, nine of which were in Baltimore.   1976 was his fourth season, and this would be his only Pro Bowl year.  Jones had an 11-3 record with 24 TDs and a league-leading 3,104 Passing Yards.  He played until 1982 and Jones would overall throw for 18,190 Yards and 124 Touchdowns.  Eligible Since 1988.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Brian Sipe, Cleveland Browns, Quarterback (1980)

Brian Sipe would play his entire 10-year career with the Browns, and it was in 1980, where he would go to his first and only Pro Bowl, which coincided with his MVP win.  He would throw for 30 Touchdowns with only 14 Interceptions, with 4,132 Passing Yards.  Sipe also led the NFL in Quarterback Rating (91.4).  He retired after 1983 with 23,713 Passing Yards and 154 Touchdown Passes. Eligible Since 1989.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Ken Anderson, Cincinnati Bengals, Quarterback (1981)

Ken Anderson is considered by most Bengals fans to be the most important player in franchise history, and the biggest Hall of Fame snub.  Anderson spent his entire career with the Bengals (1971-86) and in 1981, he would go to his third of four Pro Bowls and took Cincinnati to their first Super Bowl. In the regular season, Anderson threw for 29 Touchdowns and 3,754 Yards.  He played until1986, and retired with 32,838 Yards with 197 TDs.  Eligible Since 1982.  Ranked #12 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Mark Moseley, Washington Redskins, Place Kicker (1982)

Perhaps the unlikeliest AP MVP, Place Kicker, Mark Mosely, accomplished this feat in the strike-shortened 1982 season, making him the first Special Teams player to win this award.  This year, Moseley set a then record with a 95.2 Field Goal Percentage, and would kick two Field Goals in the Redskins Super Bowl win that year. Mosely played from 1970 to 1986, and is still the all-time leader in Points in the history of the Redskins’ franchise.  Eligible Since 1992.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Joe Theismann, Washington Redskins, Quarterback (1983)

It took a long time for Joe Theismann to become a star Quarterback, as he had to start in the CFL, was a Punt Returner as an NFL rookie, and was a backup for three years before becoming the starter in 1978 for. The Washington Redskins.  This season, Theismann threw for 3,714 Yards and 29 Touchdowns, and he would take Washington to their second straight Super Bowl, though this time they lost the big game. A gruesome leg injury at the hands of the Giants’ Lawrence Taylor would end his career, and Theismann retired with 25,206 Passing Yards and 160 Touchdowns.  Eligible Since 1991.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Boomer Esiason, Cincinnati Bengals, Quarterback (1988)

Much like Ken Anderson did before him, Boomer Esiason would take the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl, but like Anderson, his Bengals lost to Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers.  Regardless, this was a good season for Boomer, who was also named the PFWA MVP this season.  He threw for 3,572 Passing Yards with 28 Touchdowns, and he led the NFL in Passer Rating (97.4). Esiason was named to his second of what would be four Pro Bowls, and he played until 1997 with stops in New York with the Jets and Arizona, before playing his final season with the Bengals.  He retired with 37,920 Passing Yards with 247 Touchdowns.  Eligible Since 2003.  Ranked #86 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Rich Gannon, Oakland Raiders, Quarterback (2002)

This was year four of Rich Gannon’s four year run of Pro Bowls, and this season he would lead the NFL in Completions (418) and Passing Yards (4,689) while throwing for 26 Touchdowns.  He would get hurt the following season, and only played one more year before retiring in 2004 with 28,743 Passing Yards with 180 Touchdowns.  Eligible Since 2010.  Ranked #290 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Steve McNair, Tennessee Titans, Quarterback (2003)

McNair’s career began in 1995 when the Titans were still in Houston.  In 2003, he had his second Pro Bowl, and he led the NFL in Passer Rating (100.4).  He would throw for 24 Touchdowns and 3,215 Yards. McNair played until 2007, and would accumulate 31,304 Passing Yards with 174 TDs.  He also had 3,590 Rushing Yards and punched 37 attempts in the end zone.  Eligible Since 2013.  Ranked #111 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks, Running Back (2005)

Alexander was a Pro Bowl for the third (and final) and he would lead the NFL in Rushing Yards (1,880), Rushing Touchdowns (27), and Touchdowns (28).  The Running Back also won the Offensive Player of the Year and the Bert Bell Award. He would play with the Seahawks until 2007, and had one final year with the Redskins before retiring.  He left the game with 9,453 Rushing Yards and 100 Rushing Touchdowns.  Eligible Since 2014.  Ranked #100 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Let’s update our tally, shall we?

Award in Question

Percentage of recipients who have entered the HOF

Percentage of recipients by year who have entered the HOF.

NBA MVP

100%

100%

NHL Norris

90.5%

96.4%

NBA All Star Game MVP

89.5%

91.7%

NHL Conn Smythe

74.2%

85.4%

NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year

73.1%

79.4%

NFL AP MVP

68.3%

74.0%

NHL Lady Byng

63.8%

76.0%

NFL Defensive Player of the Year

60.8%

71.1%

NFL Super Bowl MVP

60.6%

64.9%

NBA Defensive Player of the Year

58.3%

56.5%

NHL Vezina

57.1%

66.3%

NBA Rookie of the Year

56.5%

56.5%

MLB MVP

55.0%

60.2%

NFL Pro Bowl MVP

52.3%

54.8%

MLB Lou Gehrig Award

51.9%

51.9%

MLB Roberto Clemente Award

47.4%

47.4%

MLB/NL/AL Cy Young Award

44.4%

55.4%

MLB Babe Ruth Award

37.0%

39.3%

NHL Frank J. Selke Trophy

33.3%

36.7%

MLB Hutch Award

33.1%

33.1%

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

28.6%

28.6%

NHL Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

27.9%

27.9%

MLB Edgar Martinez Award

26.7%

17.2%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Designated Hitter)

25.0%

30.8%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Shortstop)

23.5%

52.6%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove

21.7%

36.8%

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

20.6%

20.6%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Catcher)

20.0%

22.5%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Second Base)

18.8%

39.8%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Shortstop)

18.2%

35.1%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Pitcher)

18.2%

20.1%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Second Base)

16.7%

32.7%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Outfield)

16.7%

30.1%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Outfield)

15.7%

25.2%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Third Base)

14.3%

14.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Third Base)

13.6%

14.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (First Base)

13.6%

13.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Rookie of the Year

13.3%

13.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Catcher)

10.3%

15.2%

NBA Most Improved Player of the Year

5.3%

3.2%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (First Base)

3.8%

3.2%

NFL AP Comeback Player of the Year

0.0%

0.0%

So, who is up next?

The following are the players who have won the AP MVP in the NFL who have retired but have not met the mandatory years out of the game to qualify for the Pro Football Hall of Fame:

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts, Quarterback (2003)

Peyton Manning was in his sixth season in the NFL, and he would have his fourth Pro Bowl year.  Manning would be named a First Team All-Pro for the first time, and he would lead the league in Completions (379), Completion Percentage (67.0), Passing Yards (4,267) and he would throw for 29 Touchdowns.  Manning also won the NEA MVP and Bert Bell Award this season.  He would co-win this award with Steve McNair  Eligible in 2021.

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts, Quarterback (2) (2004)

Peyton Manning went back-to-back, also securing a First Team All-Pro and a fifth Pro Bowl.  Manning finished first in Touchdown Passes (49) and Quarterback Rating (121.1), and he threw for 4,557 Yards.  In this season, Manning would also win the PFWA MVP, NEA MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and the Bert Bell Award. Eligible in 2021.

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts, Quarterback (3) (2008)

In the years between his second and third MVP, Manning went to three Pro Bowls, another First Team All-Pro, and finally won the Super Bowl, where he was named the MVP of the game.  This season, he again was a First Team All-Pro and would lead the NFL in QBR (78.3).  The QB had 27 Touchdown Passes and 4,002 Yards.  Manning would also win the PFWA MVP this year.  Eligible in 2021.

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts, Quarterback (4) (2009)

Peyton Manning became the first four-time MVP, and this was the fifth year he was a First Team All-Pro.  He threw for 4,500 Yards and 33 TDs this season.  The Quarterback also won the PFWA MVP this year. Eligible in 2021.

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos, Quarterback (5)(2013)

It still seems strange to type Peyton Manning as a Denver Bronco, and he would have a monster regular season with a league-leading 450 Completions, 5,477 Passing Yards, 55 Touchdown Passes and a 80.9 QBR. He would also capture the PFWA MVP, Offensive Player of the Year and Bert Bell Award this season.  Manning played until 2015, and while he was not great, the Broncos defense allowed him to go on top as a Super Bowl Champion.  He retired with 71,940 Passing Yards and 539 Passing Touchdowns.  Eligible in 2021.

The following are the players who have won the AP MVP who are still active.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots, Quarterback (2007)

Tom Brady already won three Super Bowls (with two Super Bowl MVPs) before he secured his first AP MVP.  This was the year of the bittersweet season where the Pats entered the Super Bowl undefeated, only to lose to Eli Manning and the New York Giants.  Still, it was an incredible year, where the Patriots’ Quarterback led the league in Completion Percentage (68.9), Passing Yards (4,806), Touchdown Passes (50), Passer Rating (117.2) and QBR (88.5).  Brady also would win the PFWA MVP, NEA MVP, Bert Bell Award and Offensive Player of the Year this season.  42 Years Old, Playing for the New England Patriots.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots, Quarterback (2) (2010)

Brady would again lead the NFL in Touchdown Passes with 36, and was first in Passer Rating (111.0) and QBR (78.3).  He would also throw for 3,900 Yards, and only had four Interceptions.  This year Brady would also win the PFWA MVP and Offensive Player of the Year Award.  42 Years Old, Playing for the New England Patriots.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, Quarterback (2011)

This was Aaron Rodgers’ seventh season in the NFL but only his fourth as the Packers starter.  Rodgers won the Super Bowl the year before, and this season he would finish first in Passer Rating (122.5) and QBR (84.5), while throwing for 45 Touchdowns, and accumulating 4,643 Passing Yards.  He would also win the PFWA MVP and Bert Bell Award.  36 Years Old, Playing for the Green Bay Packers.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings, Running Back (2012)

Adrian Peterson would be named to four First Team All-Pro selections, this being his third.  Peterson also won three Rushing Titles, with this season being the best one (and second), with him going for 2,097 Yards.  The Minnesota Viking also finished first in All-Purpose Yards with 2,314, and he secured 13 Touchdowns this year.  34 Years Old, Playing for the Washington Redskins.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, Quarterback (2) (2014)

Rodgers had another phenomenal year where he had a TD-INT record of 38-5, and threw for 4,381 Yards.  He would go to his fourth Pro Bowl this year, and also was named a First Team All-Pro for the second time.  Rodgers also won the PFWA MVP this year.  36 Years Old, Playing for the Green Bay Packers.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Quarterback (2015)

Cam Newton was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2011, and this season, in addition to his AP MVP, he also won the Bert Bell Award and was the Offensive Player of the Year.  Stat wise, Newton threw for 35 Touchdowns, 3,837 Yards, and rushed for 636 Yards and 10 TDs.  He took Carolina to the Super Bowl, but they lost to the Denver Broncos.  30 Years Old, Playing for the Carolina Panthers.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, Quarterback (2016)

The first Atlanta Falcon to win the AP MVP, Matt Ryan would lead the NFL in Passer Rating (117.1) and QBR (79.4).  He would also throw for 4,944 Yards with 38 Touchdowns. This year, he would also win the Offensive Player of the Year and the Bert Bell Award.  Ryan would take the Falcons to the Super Bowl, but they lost to the New England Patriots.  34 Years Old, Playing for the Atlanta Falcons.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots, Quarterback (3) (2017)

In between his second and third MVP, Brady won his fourth and fifth Super Bowl.  Brady also captured the PFWA MVP this season. He would win his sixth Super Bowl the year after.   This season, he was first in Passing Yards (4,577) with 32 Touchdown Passes.  42 Years Old, Playing for the New England Patriots.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, Quarterback (2018)

After playing backup as a rookie, Patrick Mahomes took over the starting Quarterback job for the Chiefs and he instantly became one of the most exciting players in the NFL.  Mahomes would lead the NFL in Touchdown Passes (50) and QBR (80.4), and he would throw for 5,097 Yards.  This season, he would also win the Offensive Player of the Year and Bert Bell Award.  24 Years Old, Playing for the Kansas City Royals.

This yielded a high percentage as expected, which considering how difficult it is to win the NFL AP, makes complete sense.

So, what is up next?

Normally, we bounce around, but we are going to buck tradition, and stay with something very familiar, the Bert Bell Award, the MVP presented by the Maxwell Football Club.

As always, we thank you for your support, and look for that soon.

Committee Chairman

Kirk Buchner, "The Committee Chairman", is the owner and operator of the site.  Kirk can be contacted at [email protected] .

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