(Ben Roethlisberger photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers)
(Aaron Rodgers photo courtesy of the Green Bay Packers)
Talk of Fame Network
Cam Newton was the overwhelming choice for NFL MVP honors last January, receiving 48 of a possible 50 first-place votes in the Associated Press voting.
But the MVP choice is not so obvious now in August. We asked our listeners and readers in our Talk of Fame Network poll last week who would be the MVP of the 2016 season, and Newton didn’t finish among the Top 3 vote getters. In fact, three players finished atop the poll – quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger and Oakland pass rusher Khalil Mack, all with 25 percent of the vote.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was next at 17 percent, followed by Newton and Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, both in double digits.
The three co-hosts of the Talk of Fame Network also split their votes, with Ron Borges and Rick Gosselin tabbing Roethlisberger and Clark Judge selecting Wilson.
“With Marshawn Lynch gone, Russell Wilson runs the offense ... and he ran it very, very well without him last season,” Judge said. “Nobody seemed to notice then. They will now.”
Borges said he could understand the voting support for Mack but not the reality.
“Since a defensive player seldom seems to win the league's MVP award – and despite the importance of defense in any championship run -- I'll go with Roehtlisberger,” Borges said. “I’m not sure the Steelers are good enough to get to the Super Bowl, but if they get anywhere near it, they'll arrive on Big Ben's shoulders.”
Rodgers is a two-time NFL MVP (2011 and 2014) with the Packers and Peterson a one-time winner (2012). The last defensive player to win the NFL MVP award was Lawrence Taylor in 1986. The Steelers haven’t had an MVP since Terry Bradshaw in 1978, and the Raiders haven’t had one since quarterback Rich Gannon in 2002. The last Seahawk chosen as NFL MVP was Shaun Alexander in 2005.
(Khalil Mack photo courtesy of the Oakland Raiders)