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.