The NFL is already past its midway point and it has been a year filled with excitement and intrigue. People may believe that this has been a down year for the NFL, but these awards suggest otherwise. With the season at this point, I decided to hand the midseason awards for several important categories.
Biggest Free Agent Bust: Terrelle Pryor Sr.
The Redskins felt that they were getting a playmaker at the wide receiver position to replace departing veterans DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Instead, they picked up the 102nd best wide receiver in the league so far in 2017, per Pro Football Focus, and have even discussed dealing the 28-year-old.
Pryor has already been benched this season for wide receivers Josh Doctson and Ryan Grant. Doctson is a product of the 2016 draft class and has been a huge disappointment for the Redskins. Grant on the other hand is a depth receiver at best and it is extremely disappointing to see him playing above Pryor at times. Pryor’s 20 receptions for only 240 yards and two touchdowns hasn’t gotten it done for the Redskins.
Best Tank: San Francisco 49ers
Nobody who analyzes the NFL believed that the San Francisco 49ers had any shot to make the playoffs. The 49ers however, have taken it to new lengths to tank for the first overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 49ers made a trade earlier this month for Jimmy Garoppolo and have even considered not starting him for the rest of this lost season.
The only thing on John Lynch’s mind right now is what free agents and draft prospects are going to make this team somewhat watchable.
This award could have gone to the New York Giants, but the Giants were not actually trying to lose, they have just been awful.
Worst Coach of the Year: Ben McAdoo
At the beginning of the season, many people predicted the Giants to take control of the NFC East alongside the Dallas Cowboys, while the Redskins and Eagles fought for the bottom of the division. After just nine weeks, we can see how wrong everybody was.
The Giants abysmal 1-8 start can be pinned in large part on head coach Ben McAdoo. McAdoo has been criticized not only by Giants fans and media, but also by his own players. ESPN reporter Josina Anderson released a statement from an “anonymous” Giants player who talked on and on about how McAdoo has lost the team.
The Giants have a lot of work to do this offseason, and it may have to start with firing the guy who did not even remember what he told his team at halftime in a post-game press conference.
Step back Player of the Year: Jameis Winston
This award goes to a player that instead of resurrecting his career with an outstanding start to the season, has taken a huge step back. Jameis Winston, before being shut down for a couple weeks with a shoulder injury, was struggling mightily to succeed in a talented offense. Winston was surrounded this offseason with various weapons including DeSean Jackson and OJ Howard and of course still had his number one receiver, Mike Evans.
Winston was expected to propel the Bucs into the playoffs this year, but their season may end after week 17 once again. Keep trying to eat those wins Jameis.
Retirement Home Award: Jay Cutler
This award is for the player whose play has pointed more in the direction of needing to retire rather than an MVP award or Lombardi trophy. Jay Cutler is a perfect fit for this award because he was actually retired not too long ago. Cutler was primed to take a broadcast position with FOX, but returned to the NFL when Ryan Tannehill went down with an ACL injury.
Cutler’s play suggests that he may want to test out his broadcasting skills after the 2017-18 season. Cutler and the Dolphins currently rank 31st in the NFL in total yards per game and 32nd in points per game. When Tannehill comes back, Cutler should be holding a microphone, not a football.
Biggest Dumpster Fire: Cleveland Browns
For about the last 20 years, the Browns have been a finalist for this award with their excruciatingly bad play and their comical attempt to try and put a good football team on the field. The Browns once again have proved this season that their coaching staff and front office have no idea what they are doing. DeShone Kizer and company have been on a quarterback carousel for the last couple weeks that surely looks like it will provide them with the number one pick in the NFL Draft.
The Browns may even feel compelled to use that valuable first overall pick on ANOTHER quarterback. Things surely are not looking up for this team, as we may be looking at the second winless team in NFL history.