Bengals’ Burrow finalist for Most Valuable Player Award

Credit: Adrian Kraus

Credit: Adrian Kraus

Joe Burrow is among the finalists for the NFL Most Valuable Player award from the Associated Press.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ third-year star is joined by fellow quarterbacks Josh Allen of the Bills, Jalen Hurts of the Eagles and Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs along with Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, Burrow’s teammate at LSU.

Two Bengals have previously won the award: Quarterbacks Ken Anderson (1981) and Boomer Esiason (1988).

Burrow, who was the AP’s Comeback Player of the Year last season, has already been named to the Pro Bowl for the first time after finishing second in the league in passing yards per game (279.7) and passing touchdowns (35).

“I think he’s deserving of anything that comes his way. He’s one of the greatest players in this league,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor on Burrow.

No other Bengals are finalists for any of the AP individual awards, but former Ohio State star Nick Bosa is among the three players up for Defensive Player of the Year along with Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons.

Jets receiver Garrett Wilson, another former Buckeye, is among the finalists for Offensive Rookie of the Year along with 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy and Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III.

Two players from Ohio State have won Offensive Rookie of the Year: Houston Oilers running back Eddie George in 1996 and Packers fullback John Brockington in 1971.

Broncos linebacker Randy Gradishar (1978) is the only Ohio State product to be named Defensive Player of the Year.

Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, a University of Cincinnati product, is among the finalists for Defensive Rookie of the Year along with Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen.

Along with the AP award finalists announced Wednesday, the NFL revealed Bengals tight end Hayden is among the finalists for the NFL Salute to Service Award.

49ers tight end George Kittle and Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera are also finalists for demonstrating exceptional effort to honor and support members of the military community.

According to the NFL, Hurst has been a growing national voice in the mental health treatment, awareness and advocacy community since sharing his story of battling depression and anxiety in 2020 when he and his family produced a video with a message to Marines in support of Suicide Prevention Month. That helped introduce Hurst to the mental, emotional and psychological challenges faced by current and former military members.

Among other initiatives, the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation is actively collaborating with Acadia Healthcare to host military-appreciation events in the Greater Cincinnati area, while also working with the behavioral health science department at the University of South Carolina, Hurst’s alma mater, on military engagement projects.

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