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NFL players vote Antonio Brown Sporting News Offensive Player of the Year for 2017


Antonio Brown is the best thing the NFL has seen at wide receiver since the prime of Jerry Rice. Now he’s the first wide receiver since Rice to be named Sporting News’ Offensive Player of the Year in 27 years.

Brown getting the 2017 version of the SN award ends a run of quarterbacks dominating, as they won nine of the previous 10. Brown’s season, although it fell a couple games short of his Steelers getting to Super Bowl 52, was that worthy.

Brown has made five consecutive Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro for the fourth straight time. In February of 2017, he signed a five-year, $72.2 million extension with the Steelers that locks him in through ’21. Brown will turn 30 before the 2018 season. Rice played until age 42.

Brown is fifth among active players in both career receptions (733) and career receiving yards (9,910). He’s No. 3 all-time in receiving yards per game (86.2).

Although Brown is still looking for his first Super Bowl ring and is highly unlikely to catch Rice in the record books, there’s no doubt in this passing era, he’s the same type of wideout who can take over a game no matter the matchup because of his great hands, quickness and precise route-running.

Brown, like Rice, also fell a little short of winning with their happy feet on Dancing With The Stars. But he deserved to be the first receiver to follow in Rice’s footsteps with the highest respect from his peers.

Watt was instrumental in relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and helped raise more than $37 million. Dalton’s charity helps fund local children’s hospitals, and it received massive support from Bills fans after Dalton helped Buffalo end its playoff drought this season.

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