PHOENIX – To the surprise of nobody, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was named NFL offensive rookie of the year.
The dynamic Giants receiver was given the award during the “NFL Honors” show, which the NFL puts on the night before the Super Bowl to honor its players and hand out its major awards. Beckham beat out a very good rookie class, especially at receiver.
Beckham said “it means everything” to win the award, and talked about seeing his mom and dad in the crowd crying as he accepted it.
“To know that I made them proud is something that can’t be taken away from me.” Beckham said.
Beckham had a great year but really exploded into super-stardom with an incredible one-handed catch on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 12. Everyone was paying attention after that.
“When I first made the catch, I didn’t realize what the magnitude of it was,” Beckham said.
Beckham, who missed four games at the start of the season due to a hamstring injury (which he said never totally healed, as he had two tears in it) finished with 91 catches, 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns, one of the greatest rookie years in NFL history.
We will update the NFL’s awards as they’re handed out during the night at the Phoenix Symphony Hall.
Offensive player of the year: Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray
There was a bit of an upset early in the night. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemed to be a front-runner for the award but it went to Murray, the workhorse back for the Cowboys. Murray rushed for 1,845 yards during the regular season on 392 carries, and the Cowboys won the NFC East.
Murray is slated to become a free agent this offseason, and he’ll be one of the more interesting free agents on the market. Teams will have to weigh Murray’s brilliance, which was reflected in the offensive player of the year award, against the diminishing value of running backs to teams given their short careers. Murray reiterated he wants to stay with the Cowboys.
“I don’t think it’s any secret where I want to play next year,” Murray said. “But I understand the business side of it. If I’m not there, I understand it.”
Coach of the year: Arizona Cardinals’ Bruce Arians
Arians navigated injuries to quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton to guide the Cardinals to the playoffs. The Cardinals went 11-5.
Arians has won the award twice in three seasons. In 2012 he won it for his work with the Indianapolis Colts when he was offensive coordinator but took over as interim head coach while Chuck Pagano battled leukemia. That led to his job with the Cardinals, who obviously made a great hire.
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