If you are looking for an NFL candidate for MVP, you’d better look at the NFL quarterbacks as potential candidates. But if the LA Rams have their way, the NFL Most Valuable Player would not be a quarterback. In fact, the LA Rams’ top choice for MVP would not even be on the offensive side of the ball.
That is not to say that the Rams organization does not value the quarterback position. It was quite obvious that the team benefited greatly by upgrading to veteran QB Matthew Stafford. But the NFL award has become ridiculously predictable in recent years. To find the last non-quarterback selected, you have to go back to 2012, when Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson won the award.
For a player who was neither a QB nor RB? You have to turn the calendar all the way back to 1986 when New York Giants outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor claimed the distinguished honor. The last time an interior defensive lineman won the award was 1971 when Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page beat out Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.
MVP should be more than NFL QB award
Why such a monopoly? Well, if you look at where NFL teams park their money, the top salary on almost every NFL team is that quarterback position. Well, thanks to the impact of LA Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald on the performance of the entire defense, he has become the highest-paid non-QB in the NFL.
And here is the reason why:
Think about the descriptions most often used to describe the best quarterbacks in the league. Gutsy. Clutch. Courageous. Ice cold. Game changer. Elevates the performance of his teammates. Surgical precision. Now, apply those same descriptions to LA Rams Aaron Donald, and they fit him as well.
Aaron Donald is so incredibly effective that defenders who line up alongside him get a new lease on their NFL career. Shouldn’t the NFL’s MVP award insist upon that level of impact as a prerequisite? The NFL has not come around to the LA Rams’ way of thinking, but give them time. Teams are now surrendering first-round draft picks in trades. Teams are now emulating how the Rams build a roster.
It’s only a matter of time before the NFL changes the way they insist that only quarterbacks deserve MVP consideration.