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Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley named FedEx Player of the Year for 2017

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Just Todd Gurley has picked up the NFL’s informal award for running backs. Now, can he beat out New England Patriots QB Tom Brady for NFL MVP?

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley hurdles Tennessee Titans S Kevin Byard
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley hurdles Tennessee Titans S Kevin Byard
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Well, the NFL Honors are tonight, but we’ve got our first award already.

The NFL has announced that Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley has won the FedEx Ground Player of the Year award for 2017 based on voting from the fans:

Gurley beat out Kansas City Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt of the and Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell.

The FedEx Air award, given to the QB that garners the highest fan vote, was given to Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz over (former) Chiefs QB Alex Smith and New England Patriots QB Tom Brady.

The official release from the NFL included the following:

The FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year awards are a culmination of weekly awards presented by FedEx throughout the NFL season. The awards give football fans the ability to honor stand-out quarterback and running back performances each week, which in turn, direct charitable donations to the USO in the name of the winning players. New this year, 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, 2006 FedEx Ground Player of the Year and former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson served as the primary voice for the program. This is the 15th season FedEx has presented the awards.

...

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley led the NFL with 2,093 scrimmage yards and 19 total touchdowns. The 2018 Pro Bowl selection set career highs in rushing yards, 1,305, and rushing touchdowns, 13. Gurley is the third different player in NFL history to have at least 2,000 scrimmage yards, 10 rushing touchdowns and more than five touchdown catches in a single season.

It sets up an interesting battle tonight during the NFL Honors presentation between Gurley and Brady for the MVP, made more interesting in that Brady was beat out by Wentz in fan voting. That in and of itself isn’t all that surprising. Despite their success on the field for the last two decades, the Patriots and Brady aren’t at all popular among neutral fans. Scandals tend to do that.

Not helping things was the fact that a Tom Brady MVP speech was spotted at press activity at the Super Bowl this week...though that could easily be attributed to protocol moreso than having already awarded Brady the MVP over Gurley.

MVP or not, Gurley is the NFL’s 2017 FedEx Ground Player of the Year! Congrats, JTG!