Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was the overwhelming pick for NFL MVP while also winning Offensive Player of the Year in the end-of-year Associated Press awards, handed out Saturday night in Atlanta at the NFL Honors ceremony.
Feb 2, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Most Valuable Player winner Patrick Mahomes of the Kansa City Chiefs during red carpet arrivals for the NFL Honors show at the Fox Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Rams standout Aaron Donald repeated as AP Defensive Player of the Year.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, and AP Defensive Rookie of the Year went to Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard.
Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy won AP Coach of the Year, and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck received the AP Comeback Player of the Year honor.
—Tight end Tony Gonzalez and safety Ed Reed highlight the eight-man class that earned induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Reed was one of four defensive backs who will be inducted on Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio. The others were cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Ty Law and safety Johnny Robinson.
Also selected for enshrinement were center Kevin Mawae, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and personnel executive Gil Brandt during a process held in Atlanta one day prior to the Super Bowl.
—The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly will pick up quarterback Nick Foles’ $20 million contract option for 2019.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported there is no guarantee, however, that Foles remains with the team and laid out the possible options. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the franchise tag is expected for Foles and that other teams have contacted the Eagles about his potential availability.
Foles, 30, led the Eagles to the playoffs two consecutive seasons after injuries to starter Carson Wentz. Philadelphia won its first-ever Super Bowl following the 2017 season and lost this year to New Orleans in the NFL divisional round.
—NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is happy to see a drop in the number of diagnosed concussions this season and said he thinks the new rule against lowering the helmet to initiate contact was a big part of that.
There was a 24 percent decline in concussions in the preseason and regular season, from 281 in 2017 to 214 this season. For the regular season only, there was a 29 percent decrease from 190 in 2017 to 135.
Speaking at Georgia Tech ahead of the Super Bowl in Atlanta, Goodell credited the league’s approach for the reduction. “I think we’ve been effective. I give credit to the players and coaches for the way they’ve played the game,” he said, per ProFootballTalk.
—Future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald said he doesn’t believe challenges and replays should apply to potential pass interference calls.
“I personally don’t believe there should be review of plays like that. It’s a bang-bang play,” Fitzgerald told the audience at Georgia Tech, per ProFootballTalk. “It’s very subjective, it’s happening so fast. These officials are put in really tough positions. I just don’t think we should do that.”
The NFL’s competition committee is expected to discuss the possibility of a rule change to allow coaches to challenge pass interference calls. The NFL has admitted missing the call in the NFC Championship Game, potentially costing the New Orleans Saints a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
—Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor is expected to be in Cincinnati on Monday to complete the process of becoming the head coach of the Bengals, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The expectation the Bengals would hire Taylor, 35, has been known for weeks, but nothing could be made official until after the Super Bowl because of the Rams’ participation.
This will be the first head coaching job for Taylor and also the first change at the Bengals’ helm since before the 2003 season, when Marvin Lewis took over. The Bengals fired Lewis in December following the team’s third straight sub-.500 season.
—The morning after the Super Bowl, Brian Flores will fly to Miami and finalize terms to become the Dolphins’ new head coach, according to multiple reports.
Flores, 37, currently coaches linebackers for the New England Patriots, but that gig will end Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
There also are multiple reports that former New England assistant Patrick Graham (2009-15) and current receivers coach Chad O’Shea will join Flores with the Dolphins. Graham reportedly will become defensive coordinator, and O’Shea will serve as offensive coordinator.
—Field Level Media