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. And looking for more.Green Bays Aaron Rodgers won his second MVP award Saturday night, and J.J. Watt swept away the voters the way he sweeps quarterbacks off their feet to take top defensive honours.Rodgers, also the 2011 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award winner, took this one in somewhat surprisingly easy fashion over Watt. The Packers quarterback received 31 votes for the 2014 award from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Houstons Watt, seeking to become the first defensive player to win MVP since 1986, got 13 votes.Rodgers threw for 38 touchdowns and a league-low five interceptions; he has thrown 512 passes at home without a pick. He led the Packers to two victories at seasons end despite playing with a severe calf injury.I feel so fortunate to live out my dreams, year after year, Rodgers said Saturday night. It cant help but sink in when you play for the Packers. When you live in Green Bay you know about the Lombardi years, Bart Starr and all the guys who made those teams special. You like to be part of something special yourself.Watt, the ultra-energetic and versatile Texans end, is the first unanimous choice for an AP award since Tom Brady won Most Valuable Player in 2007, and the first for top defensive player under the current voting setup.Im always trying to raise the bar, he said. The moment you get complacent is the moment you begin your decline. When you start to feel like youve made it, when you feel like youre doing pretty good, thats when you start to fall back.NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray of Dallas won Offensive Player, while the Arizona Cardinals swept coaching honours. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski took the Comeback Player award, but was not on hand because, well, New England has a rather important date with Seattle on Sunday in the Super Bowl.Murray, who ran away with the rushing title with 1,845 yards — nearly 500 more than any other player — also topped the NFL with 2,261 yards from scrimmage. He scored 13 touchdowns in helping the Cowboys win the NFC East.That overwhelming performance earned him 26 votes as Murray easily outdistanced Rodgers (15 votes).I want to say thank you to the Jones family for taking a chance on me four years ago out of Oklahoma, Murray said. Its been a privilege to play there. Hopefully we can continue that.Murrays contract is up.I dont think its any surprise or any secret where I want to play next year, he said.Arians took his second Coach of the Year award in three seasons after leading his injury-ravaged Cardinals to an 11-5 record and a wild-card playoff berth. He was the top coach in 2012 as an interim, stepping in for the ill Chuck Pagano and leading the Colts to the post-season.His defensive co-ordinator in Arizona, Todd Bowles, won the first Assistant Coach of the Year award. Bowles has parlayed his work with the Cardinals into a head coaching job with the Jets.I wouldnt be head coach of the year if it wasnt for him and the job he did, Arians said. Im so happy that we started that award and he got it for the first time. Now hes going to do a great job for the Jets.Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who made the play of the year against the Cowboys with a one-handed snag of a touchdown pass while falling backward, was voted top offensive rookie. Beckham tied Michael Irvins NFL mark with nine consecutive games of 90 yards receiving and finished with 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 TDs.This is a great class that I came in, Beckham said. Part of the reason that I wanted to come out (early from LSU) was to be included in this class.Rams tackle Aaron Donald won top defensive rookie honours. A force against the run and the pass, Donald had 37 tackles, nine assists, and led all rookies with nine sacks. He was one of three rookies initially selected for the Pro Bowl.Hard work pays off, Donald explained.In his fourth pro season, Watt earned his second such honour with 20 1-2 sacks, 78 tackles — 29 for losses — 50 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles and 10 blocked passes.He is the first NFL player with multiple 20-sack seasons. Watt also had 20 1-2 sacks in 2012, his other top defensive player season.The AP awards were given out during the NFL Honors TV program. Also during the show, Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.This award means a great deal to me, as it symbolizes the valued work that the NFL, its players, and its 32 teams do in the community, said Davis, a 10-year veteran.Bears defensive end Jared Allen won the Salute to Service Award. USAA will contribute $25,000 in Allens honour to the official aid societies representing all five military branches.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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. - Pete Rose didnt want it to be about him, not on a day when four new members were elected to baseballs most exclusive club.EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Linval Joseph is listed at 6-foot-4 and 323 pounds, just the right size for an NFL nose tackle. The player Joseph looked up to while learning how to play in the middle of the line in high school and college was Pat Williams, and now his career has come full circle. Joseph has joined the Minnesota Vikings, who havent been able to match the moxie and production Williams provided at the position since the big man retired after the 2010 season. "Pat was a physical guy. He liked to slam guys. I watched him a lot," said Joseph, who finalized a five-year contract with the Vikings on Wednesday. Williams was picked for three Pro Bowls in his six seasons with the Vikings. They allowed the fewest yards rushing in the league for three straight years in that span, 2006 through 2008, and the oversized, popular, colorful Williams had much to do with that. "He wanted to show that hes an all-time great. He had something to prove from where he started to where he finished," Joseph said, adding: "He was just loved around here. And I want to be the same way." Joseph started 46 of 48 games for the New York Giants while averaging 55 tackles and three sacks over the last three seasons and won a Super Bowl with them, too. The 25-year-old was a second-round draft pick in 2010 out of East Carolina. He grew up in Florida after his family moved from the Virgin Islands. The Giants made him an offer, but he said "it was nowhere near" what the Vikings gave him. Allen Iverson Jersey
. . According to ESPN, Josephs deal has a maximum value of $31.5 million. Oakland and Atlanta also were interested. But Minnesota was his first choice. Joseph said he sees playing for new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer like his experience with the Giants and Tom Coughlin, another noted hard-nosed NFL head coach. "I can tell hes straightforward and hes defensive-minded and he wants to win," Joseph said of Zimmer. The Vikings also finalized one-year contracts on Wednesday with middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley and offensive lineman Joe Berger. Given the new deal they gave Everson Griffen this week and the extension they handed Brian Robison last year, the Vikings have secured three of the starting front four with contracts valuing more than $100 million combined at maximum worth. Those three will account for close to 15 per cent of the $133 million salary cap in 2014. They might not spending money on the line, either. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Vikings have not publicized any visits by free agents yet, former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton will be at Winter Park on Thursday to meet with team officials. Melton made the Pro Bowl with six sacks in 2012, but he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the third game of last season. Wholesale NFL Jerseys
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