Vikings’ Justin Jefferson named NFL Offensive Player of the Year
The award, selected by media members in voting done for The Associated Press, was handed out at NFL Honors in Phoenix
After being named NFL Offensive Player of the Year on Thursday night, Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson let it be known that there is “more to come” in his career.
In his third NFL season, Jefferson shattered several team records and easily won the award. In voting done by 50 media members for The Associated Press, Jefferson received 35 first-place votes and 192 total points. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was second with 10 first-place votes and 75 points and Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts third with three first-place votes and 52 points.
Jefferson on Thursday also finished fifth in voting for AP NFL Most Valuable Player, with the award going to Mahomes. Jefferson won for NFL Moment of the Year for his epic one-handed catch for 20 yards on fourth-and-18 late in regulation in a 33-30 overtime win at Buffalo on Nov. 13.
Jefferson was honored three days before Super Bowl LVII will be played in nearby Glendale, Ariz. In a one-minute acceptance speech for Offensive Player of the Year, he thanked his parents for having “made me into the man I am.” And he thanked his two older brothers, Jordan and Rickey, who had played at LSU before he did.
“You all were so hard on me, all the constant times I cried at home,” Jefferson said. “You all was the reason that I’m tough.”
Jefferson said his “whole career has been amazing” before declaring there is “more to come.”
Jefferson in 2022 broke Cris Carter’s Vikings record of 122 catches with 128 and Randy Moss’ team mark of 1,632 yards receiving with 1,809. Both Carter and Moss are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The award was first handed out in 1972, and Jefferson became the third Minnesota player to win it. Quarterback Fran Tarkenton claimed it in 1975 and running back Adrian Peterson in 2012.
In voting for MVP, Mahomes was followed by Hurts, Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen, Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow and Jefferson. Jefferson had 55 total points, getting no first-place votes, one for second, one for third, 14 for fourth and 17 for fifth.
Minnesota’s Kevin O’Connell finished sixth in voting for the AP NFL Coach of the Year with 23 total points. He received one first-place vote, four for second and six for third. Brian Daboll of the New York Giants won the award, and was followed in the voting by San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan, Jacksonville’s Doug Peterson, Buffalo’s Sean McDermott and Philadelphia’s Nick Sirianni.
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen was one of 32 candidates, one from each team, for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The winner was Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott.
NFL award winners
Most Valuable Player — Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
Coach of the Year — Brian Daboll (New York Giants)
Offensive Player of the Year — Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings)
Defensive Player of the Year — Nick Bosa (San Francisco 49ers)
Offensive Rookie of the Year — Garrett Wilson (New York Jets)
Defensive Rookie of the Year — Sauce Gardner (New York Jets)
Comeback Player of the Year — Geno Smith (Seattle Seahawks)
Assistant Coach of the Year — DeMeco Ryans (San Francisco 49ers)
Walter Payton Man of the Year — Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys)
FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Year — Joe Burrow and Josh Jacobs
Best Moment of the Year — Jefferson's catch against the Buffalo Bills
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