The NFL’s Broken MVP System

The NFL’s Broken MVP System

When the NFL was first founded in 1920, they never recognized the best or most valuable player after each season. That changed in 1938 when they started presenting the Gruen trophy to the most valuable player from each season. The Gruen trophy was later renamed the Joe F. Carr trophy. They have called the MVP award many different things throughout the years. The most known MVP award is the NFL AP MVP award. The AP MVP award was started in 1957 and has been the official MVP award that the NFL has used ever since.

Do me a favor. Think about all of the great players that have come through the NFL. The fact that since 1957, the AP MVP award has been rewarded to 48 quarterbacks and only 18 non-quarterbacks. 18!!! that is insane! Let’s take a stroll together and see if we can figure out why that is and see if it will ever change.

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Why Do Only Quarterbacks Win MVP?

This is a question that I see debated every year when the NFL MVP race starts heating up. To me, the answer is simple. The quarterback position is the most important in the NFL. If you do not have a good solid quarterback, you will not win very many games. So with the quarterback being the most important player, does that mean they deserve to win MVP year after year? No. There are several good teams in the NFL where their best player isn’t the quarterback.

Most notably, Derrick Henery and the Tennesee Titans. In my opinion, the Titans would not be in the playoffs year after year if it wasn’t for Derrick Henery. That’s only because I don’t think Ryan Tannehill is capable of carrying a franchise by himself. I’m using Derrick Henery as an example because, in 2020, he probably should have been the MVP over Aaron Rodgers.

He put numbers that you only see once every five+ years from the running back position. In the NFL, it seems like the only way a non-quarterback will win MVP is if that person breaks some sort of a single-season record at their respective position like Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson.

Maybe the reason you don’t see wide receivers win MVP is that the person throwing them the ball is the quarterback. Without a good catchable ball, they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs. Never mind the skill that some of these guys have in making big plays after they catch the ball. What about defensive players? Some teams have won super bowls solely because of their defense. Why shouldn’t those guys get MVP recognition? The MVP system in the NFL is broken. Every skill position player should have an equal shot at being NFL MVP.

Will it Ever Change?

Without being physic, there is no possible way to know for sure if the way we determine an MVP will change or not. One way that I could see it changing is if there is a change in the voters. The current voters are a part of an older demographic, so they are set in their ways and aren’t fans of changing how something is done. They believe the MVP should be a quarterback award so that is how they will most likely vote.

That isn’t necessarily a knock on them, that is just how they are. We will all be there one day. The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” fits in pretty well here. I think we will see a big change in the MVP races once younger voters start replacing the older ones. Until then, expect a lot more quarterbacks to take home the MVP award.

Biggest Takeway

The biggest takeaway from me is that the MVP system in the NFL is completely broken and it needs to be fixed. Too many great players throughout the NFL’s history have proven year after year that they are just as important as the quarterback. With how the NFL continues to evolve, getting more and more positions involved in the game. I firmly believe that in the next five years, we will see different positions getting more and more MVP recognition. Maybe a few of them will even win it. We can only hope.


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Derick Dahlby

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