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Jackson wins MVP; Browns, Texans clean up at NFL Honors

Updated February 9, 2024 - 10:05 am

Five years ago, a young Baltimore Ravens upstart took the starting job from a franchise favorite and Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

On Thursday, Lamar Jackson and Joe Flacco’s paths crossed again at the NFL Honors at Resorts World. Only this time, there were smiles all around.

Jackson earned his second MVP award for the spectacular season he produced to help the Ravens reach the AFC championship game. Flacco, the man Jackson pushed out of Baltimore in 2020, was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year for the heroics he provided by coming off the street in mid-December and leading the Cleveland Browns’ gallant run to the postseason.

As happy as Jackson was with winning his award, he was just as happy for his former teammate, who treated him with respect five years ago even though he knew Jackson was gunning for his job.

“It was great to see because he was a great guy to be around, a great mentor,” Jackson said. “So hat’s off to him.”

Flacco said he was happy for his former teammate.

“He had an awesome season, won a ton of games,” Flacco said. “The city has a lot to be excited about, and obviously that was a big part of my life. Every time I’ve been around Lamar, he’s been a hard worker, a great guy, tough.”

While Jackson is embracing his second MVP, a bigger goal awaits.

“Just to get this award and be here for this award, it’s an honor,” Jackson said. “But I’d rather be playing in the Super Bowl than accepting the award.”

Jackson won in a landslide, accumulating 49 of the 50 first-place votes. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen earned the other.

Myles Garrett was named Defensive Player of the Year, beating out three other finalists, including Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby. Crosby finished fourth in the voting behind Garrett, Pittsburgh’s TJ Watt and Dallas’ Micah Parsons.

Garrett’s win was part of a big night for the Browns, with awards also going to Flacco, Kevin Stefanski as Coach of the Year and Jim Schwartz as Assistant Coach of the Year.

C.J. Stroud, the quarterback who helped lead the Houston Texans’ turnaround from a three-win team in 2022 to the playoffs this season, won Offensive Rookie of the Year. Stroud’s honor was part of an illustrious night for the Texans’ talented young core, as teammate Will Anderson Jr. won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

First-year Texans coach DeMeco Ryans was also up for the Coach of the Year award that instead went to Stefanski. He edged out Ryans by earning 21 first-place votes to Ryans’ 20.

“I think it just speaks volumes about the type of people you have in the building,” Anderson said of the Texans’ big night. “From ownership all the way to DeMeco.”

The NFL also announced its newest Hall of Fame class, made up of defensive end Dwight Freeney, linebacker Randy Grandishar, kick returner Devin Hester, wide receiver Andre Johnson, defensive tackle Steve McMichael, defensive end Julius Peppers and linebacker Patrick Willis.

Pittsburgh defensive lineman Cam Heyward was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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