Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are considered two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. While neither are quite the same athletes they were in their respective primes, they’re still very good. They also lead successful teams that are headed to the playoffs with high seeds.
But there’s one area where both players are still playing catch-up: Most Valuable Player. Brady and Rodgers both trail the all-time leader in MVP awards. Let’s look at how NFL MVP voting works and whether these two QBs can catch up to the leader.
How NFL MVP voting works
Football writers from across the country vote for the Most Valuable Player. As NFL MVP Voting explains, “The Associated Press originally had three voters per NFL franchise, but after reaching a high of 98 voters in 1994, the number stabilized at 50 beginning in 1999.”
Ideally, the MVP voter base is made up of well-informed national writers who’ve had the opportunity to watch all the major candidates for the award. “Voters are not assigned by team or region,” explains NFL MVP Voting. “And there is an emphasis on including national writers.”
The Associated Press always seeks a broad group of NFL-specific writers. And, as MVP voting organizer Barry Wilner explains, “Some of the guys on this list cover teams, but they write on a national basis so they’re very clued into the entire league. We want a mix of print, website, radio, and TV.'”
The voting occurs after the final regular-season game and is announced between the conference championship games and Super Bowl.
Can Brady and Rodgers catch the all-time NFL MVP leader?
The record for most lifetime MVP Awards won is five. Only two active players have more than one: Brady and Rodgers. The Patriots legend currently has three MVPs while Rodgers has two.
Technically, 36-year-old Rodgers has more time to collect MVP trophies because he’s roughly six years younger than Brady. While both players are still competing at a high level considering their ages, winning multiple MVP awards for the remainder of their careers is unlikely.
The Patriots offense this year has struggled at times. Even though he’s still great, Brady isn’t the passer he once was. He can still put up reliable seasons and put the Pats in position to win a lot of games.
But as far as the monstrous numbers needed to win the MVP, Brady doesn’t seem capable at this point in his career. There’s also the question of whether he’ll even return to the Patriots next season.
Rodgers, on the other hand, could possibly win another MVP. But he’ll have to get in line with players like Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and even Drew Brees. It’s not that Rodgers isn’t a great player; it’s that he’s competing against many excellent quarterbacks. Winning more than once will be tough.
Who is the all-time leader in NFL MVP Awards?
With five MVPs, Peyton Manning is the all-time leader. The former QB won the award in 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2013. The first four awards came during his time with the Indianapolis Colts. He accepted his final award with the Denver Broncos.
Manning has also received the highest total of MVP votes of all time with 227. This is made more impressive by the fact that only 50 people vote on the NFL MVP each year. This means Manning has received a lot of consideration from many voters in multiple years.
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