If the Nation Football League won’t include the Buccaneers in their “NFL Honors” show, we’ll make our own, more specifically Devin Sanguinett will.
To honor the NFL, I will make several bad choices here.
The NFL Honors happened just this weekend, and Buccaneers fans have several reasons to complain already. Joe Flacco winning over Baker Mayfield for Comeback Player (although the argument could be made that Breece Hall deserved it more since he was actually injured and came back) and Yaya Diaby and Antoine Winfield Jr being snubbed for Rookie Defender and Defensive Player of the Year respectively.
So, I decided to open my own rewards show to honor the players on this team that deserve it.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Trey Palmer
This one is admittedly kind of a meh. The only other true option was Cody Mauch, and I don’t think he played well enough to warrant this. Trey Palmer certainly did not have a bad season, but he was no Puka Nacua. He had 385 receiving yards and 3 tds. Not WR1 material, but he was constantly in rotation as a WR3. Where he did show a lot of potential was as a gadget player. He was used a few times on jet sweeps, and averaged 7.3 yards per carry. With a year under his belt, I think he can take a leap forward.
Defensive Player of the Year: Antoine Winfield Jr
Duh. There was a good argument to be made for him winning DPOTY this year. At the very least, he should’ve gotten more votes. Winfield Jr did it all. He led the league in forced fumbles (as a safety in should be noted) with 6, 4 fumble recoveries, had 3 interceptions, 12 passes defended, and 6 sacks. Those six sacks were better than some of the Bucs edge rushers. He was doing everything on defense. There is an argument to be made that Lavonte David could also be up for it. And while he did have another solid year, Winfield Jr was the best safety in the NFL last year.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Yaya Diaby
Another guy that honestly had a better case for winning the actual award. Diaby led the team with 7.5 sacks and led all rookies in the NFL. And as we all know, the NFL only cares about sacks. On top of that, he led all rookies with 12 tfls. And he did this without starting for a large portion of the season unlike guys like Kobie Turner and Jalen Carter who played right away. Based on his Twitter activity, he seems very hungry and has been noting this disrespect. So I will be predicting him winning DPOTY in 2024. You heard it here first.
Offensive Player of the Year: Mike Evans
This one was rather obvious. Evans had a fantastic year with Baker throwing and Dave Canales calling plays. The yards weren’t necessarily there (although he certainly did well with 1255), but he was tied for first with 13 tds. Not Christian McCaffrey levels, but not bad for a guy in his 30s. Simply put, this offense would not have functioned without him. Yes, he did have games where he disappeared, but his importance to this teams offense almost made me put him in MVP for the team.
Comeback Player of the Year: Shaquil Barrett
Ok, let me explain. The NFL lately has been interpreting “comeback player” to include coming back from being terrible. Which is how Flacco and Geno Smith won the past two years. However, I personally find that definition to be stupid. It was meant for injury, and I will use it for such. Shaq did not have a bad year, but it wasn’t that good. He had 4.5 sacks in the games he played, not good for an edge rusher. Shaq did have a pick six against the Bears and 3 forced fumbles, but nothing earth-shattering. With that said, he did tear his Achilles last season. So the fact that he came back, even at a fraction of himself, is impressive. I love the guy and this may very well be his last season here, so I wanted to honor him in some way.
Team MVP: Baker Mayfield
MVP is a QB reward. And the Bucs QB deserves it. He had a fantastic season after everyone wrote him off as trash. Mayfield was seventh in the league in TDs with 28 and over 4,000 yards. Not only that, he revitalized the team after it looked old and slow in 2022. There are not enough words to express the good he has done for this team. The locker room loves him, and we love him. The Buccaneers need to bring their 2023 MVP back to run it back. Make sure to include Evans in the package.
Make sure you check out Devin’s blog at cannoncrunch.wordpress.com.
Cannon Crunch with Devin Sanguinett