Curran: Why I gave my MVP vote to Tom Brady over Matt Ryan

Curran: Why I gave my MVP vote to Tom Brady over Matt Ryan

HOUSTON -- I was one of 10 voters that cast their ballot for Tom Brady for 2016 NFL MVP. Matt Ryan won, of course, his 25 votes from the panel of 50 more than doubling Brady’s total. 

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Brady himself told me Ryan deserved the award and nobody can argue that Brady’s season was statistically superior to Ryan’s because one guy played 16 games and the other guy played 12.

When one guy is on the field for a full month and the other guy isn’t even allowed at the facility, well, that’s got to impact the candidacy. And for me it did.

For a long while -- after I moved off Dak Prescott as a possible candidate -- I couldn’t help but hold Brady’s absence against his candidacy.

But then I got down to the “why” of it. Brady wasn’t unavailable because he was injured. He wasn’t there because the NFL ran a sham investigation trying to prove something happened. They failed in that so they instead settled for reputation assassination in order to save face.

Brady sat four games so the NFL could justify its mistake. And I decided that holding that against Brady would only further validate the NFL’s suspension of him. So I voted for Brady.

I did, however, cast my vote for Ryan as Offensive Player of the Year, which he won. As for the other categories, Giants safety Landon Collins was my Defensive Player of the Year (Oakland’s Khalil Mack won), Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett got my vote for Coach of the Year (he won), Prescott got my vote for Offensive Rookie of the Year (he won), Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa was my Defensive Rookie of the Year (he won) and Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia got my vote for Assistant Coach of the Year (Atlanta OC Kyle Shanahan won). Cameron Wake of the Dolphins was my selection for Comeback Player of the Year (Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson won).

In the end, I’m happy the Ryan-Brady race didn’t come down to a single vote. Ryan got what he deserved, the reason Brady couldn’t compete with Ryan’s stats didn't deserve to be overlooked.
 

Breaking down some of the Patriots' best NFL Draft decisions

Breaking down some of the Patriots' best NFL Draft decisions

Michael Holley and Tom E. Curran discuss the drafts/draft traits that stand out from the last 16 years of New England Patriots drafts.

Jimmy Garoppolo stays put as quarterbacks go high, Browns make moves

Jimmy Garoppolo stays put as quarterbacks go high, Browns make moves

For all the questions that surrounded the top quarterbacks in the 2017 draft, an early run on signal-callers still occurred. The Browns sat it out -- even facilitating another team’s selection of a QB -- yet Jimmy Garoppolo stayed put. 

Garoppolo not being traded ahead of or during the first round should not have come as a surprise; Adam Schefter has insisted throughout the offseason that the Patriots would not trade him for anything. Yet for the prices that were paid for QBs Thursday night, it’s still fascinating to think of what New England could have gotten for their backup. 

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The madness started nearly immediately. After Cleveland took Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett to open the draft, the Bears moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 -- trading third-and-fourth-round picks this year and a third next season to San Francisco -- to take UNC’s Mitchell Trubisky. 

At No. 10, it was the Chiefs moving up to the Bills’ spot, going all the way from No. 27 and giving up next year’s first as part of a package to secure Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Two picks later, the Browns were on the clock with Deshaun Watson still on the board, but they opted to trade the pick to Houston, who gave Cleveland the 25th overall pick this year and their first-rounder next year before selecting the Clemson star. 

The Browns, who have long been viewed as a logical potential destination for Garoppolo, made two more picks in the first round, choosing Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers 25th and trading back into the first round to make Miami tight end David Njoku their third first-round pick of the night at 29th overall. 

While the Browns obviously spent plenty of draft capital Thursday, they still have not addressed the quarterback position beyond Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and trade acquisition (that’s a nice way of putting it; a more honest would be “salary dump acquisition”) Brock Osweiler. 

That leads Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot to believe that the Browns will still try to swing a trade for Garoppolo, who is entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal. Cabot writes that the Browns will “likely make a pitch for the Patriots backup,” though she too notes Scheffer’s insistence that Garoppolo isn’t going anywhere. The Browns now have two firsts and three seconds in 2018. 

The Patriots still aren’t slated to pick until the third round on Friday, when they’ll be on the clock with the 72nd overall pick.