Cam Newton is named MVP; Brett Favre and Ken Stabler chosen for Hall of Fame
Cam Newton is now a Super Bowl quarterback with an MVP award. Offensive player of the year, too.
And his coach, Ron Rivera, owns a second NFL honor as well.
And quarterbacks Brett Favre and Ken Stabler were chosen for the 2016 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night, along with two former Rams players.
Newton, the Carolina Panthers star, won the Associated Press NFL most valuable player and offensive player of the year awards.
“It means so much, but not just for myself,” Newton side in a video acceptance speech for the MVP award. “To be the first person in Panthers history to win it — that’s what I’m most proud about. I’ve received a lot of awards, but to be able to get this organization here, I’m really proud. We didn’t get in this position by happenstance. It took years of hard work and dedication, and now we are reaping the benefits.”
Newton was not on hand at NFL Honors because he was preparing for the Super Bowl on Sunday against Denver. But he still was a dominant figure.
Newton was a landslide choice for MVP with 48 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who regularly cover the NFL. Fellow quarterbacks Tom Brady and Carson Palmer each received one vote.
Rivera led the Panthers to an unprecedented third straight NFC South title and two playoff victories.
Rivera also won the award two years ago. He dedicated this one to his late brother, Mickey, who died recently.
Houston end J.J. Watt won his third defensive player of the year award in five pro seasons. This time, in tying Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor as the only players to take the award three times, Watt earned 37 votes.
Kansas City safety Eric Berry gave an emotionally charged speech while accepting comeback player of the year. At one point, his eyes welled with tears and he paused before accepting the award.
Berry missed 10 games the previous season battling lymphoma, then returned to the Chiefs to become an All-Pro.
His teammate cornerback Marcus Peters, took defensive rookie of the year. Rams running back Todd Gurley took offensive rookie.
Wade Phillips’ work in turning the Denver defense into the stingiest in the NFL got him the assistant coach of the year award.
San Francisco receiver Anquan Boldin received the Walter Payton NFL man of the year award for his off-field work.
Meanwhile, Brett Favre and the late Ken Stabler, a pair of kindred-spirit quarterbacks who each won a Super Bowl, were elected to the Hall of Fame.
Also voted in for the class of 2016 were modern-day players Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison and Orlando Pace, coach Tony Dungy, contributor Ed DeBartolo Jr., and senior selection Dick Stanfel.
Greene was a linebacker and defensive end who accumulated 160 sacks while harassing quarterbacks for four teams across 15 seasons. A three-time All-Pro selection, he broke in with the Los Angeles Rams in 1985 and closed his career with the Panthers in 1999.
The freewheeling Favre, as expected, was a first-ballot entry, a reward for a long and distinguished career, mostly with the Green Bay Packers, that included three consecutive NFL MVP awards from 1995-97 and a championship in the 1997 Super Bowl.
Stabler goes into the Hall as a senior selection about six months after dying of colon cancer at age 69 — and just days after researchers said his brain showed widespread signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease linked to repeated brain trauma.
Stabler was the 1974 league MVP and helped the Oakland Raiders win the 1977 Super Bowl. He was represented at Saturday’s announcement by two of his grandsons.
The induction ceremony is in August in Canton, Ohio.
Pace was an imposing left tackle who blocked for the winners of three consecutive NFL MVP awards during his 13-year career, the first dozen with the St. Louis Rams.
Harrison, Peyton Manning’s top receiver while with the Indianapolis Colts from 1996 to 2008, holds the record for most catches in a season: 143 in 2002. At the time of his retirement, Harrison ranked second only to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice in NFL history with 1,102 catches and most consecutive games with a catch (190).
Dungy coached Manning, Harrison and the rest of the Colts to victory in the 2006 Super Bowl, becoming the first black head coach to win the championship.
DeBartolo was elected, fittingly, in the city where he owned the 49ers for nearly a quarter-century. In 1979, two years after buying the team, DeBartolo hired Bill Walsh as coach and drafted quarterback Joe Montana, leading to an unprecedented run of success that included five Super Bowl titles.
Stanfel, who died last year, was a guard for the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins for a total of seven seasons, earning first-team All-Pro honors five times.
Three Broncos fined
Denver Broncos Von Miller, T.J. Ward and Shiloh Keo have been fined $23,152 each by the NFL for actions in their victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.
Miller, a linebacker, was docked for unsportsmanlike conduct, likely for a celebration after one of his 2 1/2 sacks of Tom Brady.
Ward, a safety, was fined for spearing an opponent. Keo, also a safety, was punished for a hit on a defenseless receiver.
Each player’s fine is worth about half his AFC title game bonus paycheck.
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