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Several organizations give out NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards that are listed in the NFL Record and Fact Book and Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press (AP) has been giving the award since 1972; Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly since 1970; and Sporting News has announced winners since 2008. The Newspaper Enterprise Association was the originator of the award in 1966. However, it became defunct after 1997. Also going defunct was the United Press International (UPI) AFC-NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards that began in 1975.

Associated PressEdit

The AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award is given by the Associated Press to the league's most outstanding defensive player at the end of every NFL season since 1971.

YearPlayer name NFL teamPosition
1971Page, AlanAlan PageMinnesota VikingsDefensive tackle
1972Greene, JoeJoe GreenePittsburgh SteelersDefensive tackle
1973Anderson, DickDick AndersonMiami DolphinsSafety
1974Greene, JoeJoe Greene (2) Pittsburgh Steelers (2)Defensive tackle
1975Blount, MelMel BlountPittsburgh Steelers (3)Cornerback
1976Lambert, JackJack LambertPittsburgh Steelers (4)Linebacker
1977Martin, HarveyHarvey MartinDallas CowboysDefensive end
1978Gradishar, RandyRandy GradisharDenver BroncosLinebacker
1979Selmon, Lee RoyLee Roy SelmonTampa Bay BuccaneersDefensive end
1980Hayes, LesterLester HayesOakland RaidersCornerback
1981Taylor, LawrenceLawrence Taylor-RNew York GiantsLinebacker
1982Taylor, LawrenceLawrence Taylor (2) New York Giants (2)Linebacker
1983Betters, DougDoug BettersMiami Dolphins (2)Defensive end
1984Easley, KennyKenny EasleySeattle SeahawksSafety
1985Singletary, MikeMike SingletaryChicago BearsLinebacker
1986Taylor, LawrenceLawrence Taylor (3) New York Giants (3)Linebacker
1987White, ReggieReggie WhitePhiladelphia EaglesDefensive end
1988Singletary, MikeMike Singletary (2)Chicago Bears (2)Linebacker
1989Millard, KeithKeith MillardMinnesota Vikings (2)Defensive tackle
1990Smith, BruceBruce SmithBuffalo BillsDefensive end
1991Swilling, PatPat SwillingNew Orleans SaintsLinebacker
1992Kennedy, CortezCortez KennedySeattle Seahawks (2)Defensive tackle
1993Woodson, RodRod WoodsonPittsburgh Steelers (5)Cornerback
1994Sanders, DeionDeion SandersSan Francisco 49ersCornerback
1995Paup, BryceBryce PaupBuffalo Bills (2)Linebacker
1996Smith, BruceBruce Smith (2) Buffalo Bills (3)Defensive end
1997Stubblefield, DanaDana StubblefieldSan Francisco 49ers (2)Defensive tackle
1998White, ReggieReggie White (2) Green Bay PackersDefensive end
1999Sapp, WarrenWarren SappTampa Bay Buccaneers (2)Defensive tackle
2000Lewis, RayRay LewisBaltimore RavensLinebacker
2001Strahan, MichaelMichael StrahanNew York Giants (4)Defensive end
2002Brooks, DerrickDerrick BrooksTampa Bay Buccaneers (3)Linebacker
2003Lewis, RayRay Lewis[1] (2) Baltimore Ravens (2)Linebacker
2004Reed, EdEd Reed[2]Baltimore Ravens (3)Safety
2005Urlacher, BrianBrian Urlacher[3]Chicago Bears (3)Linebacker
2006Taylor, JasonJason Taylor[4]Miami Dolphins (3) Defensive end
2007Sanders, BobBob Sanders[5]Indianapolis ColtsSafety
2008Harrison, JamesJames Harrison[6]Pittsburgh Steelers (6)Linebacker
2009Woodson, CharlesCharles Woodson[7]Green Bay Packers (2)Cornerback
2010Polamalu, TroyTroy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers (7) Safety
2011Suggs, TerrellTerrell Suggs Baltimore Ravens (4) Linebacker
2012Watt, J. J.J. J. Watt Houston Texans Defensive end
2013Kuechly, LukeLuke Kuechly Carolina Panthers Linebacker
2014Watt, J. J.J. J. Watt (2) Houston Texans (2) Defensive end
2015Watt, J. J.J. J. Watt (3) Houston Texans (3) Defensive end
2016Mack, KhalilKhalil Mack Oakland Raiders (2) Linebacker
2017Donald, AaronAaron Donald Los Angeles Rams Defensive tackle
2018Donald, AaronAaron Donald (2)[8] Los Angeles Rams (2) Defensive tackle

Pro Football Writers of America Edit

The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is made up of sportswriters who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis.

From 1969 to 1991, the Pro Football Writers Association NFL Defensive Player of the Year was presented by Pro Football Weekly only. PFW and the Professional Football Writers of America combined their awards in 1992. In 2013, the award was presented by PFWA alone.

Season Player Team Position College
1969 Bobby Bell Kansas City Chiefs Outside linebacker Minnesota
1970 Dick Butkus Chicago Bears Middle linebacker Illinois
1971 Alan Page Minnesota Vikings Defensive tackle Notre Dame
1972 Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive tackle North Texas State
1973 Alan Page Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle Notre Dame
1974 Joe GreenePittsburgh Steelers Defensive tackle North Texas Stats
1975 Jack Ham Pittsburgh SteelersOutside Linebacker Penn State
1976 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Middle Linebacker Kent State
1977 Harvey Martin Dallas Cowboys Defensive End North Texas Stats
1978 Randy Gradishar Denver Broncos Inside Linebacker Ohio State
1979 Lee Roy Selmon Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive end Oklahoma
1980 Lester Hayes Oakland Raiders Cornerback Texas A&M
1981 Joe Klecko New York Jets Defensive end Temple
1982 Dan Hampton Chicago Bears Defensive tackle Arkansas
1983 Bob Baumhower Miami Dolphins Defensive tackle Alabama
1984 Kenny Easley Seattle Seahawks Safety UCLA
1985 No Award
1986 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Outside Linebacker North Carolina
1987 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Tennessee
1988 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Middle linebacker Baylor
1989 Keith Millard Minnesota Vikings Defensive tackle Washington State
1990 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End Virginia Tech
1991 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Tennessee
1992 Cortez Kennedy Seattle Seahawks Defensive Tackle Miami
1993 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End Virginia Tech
1994 Deion Sanders San Francisco 49ers Cornerback Florida State
1995 Bryce Paup Buffalo Bills Outside Linebacker Northern Iowa
1996 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End Virginia Tech
1997 Dana Stubblefield San Francisco 49ers Defensive tackle Kansas
1998 Reggie White Green Bay Packers Defensive end Tennessee
1999 Warren Sapp Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Tackle Miami
2000 Ray Lewis Baltimore Ravens Middle Linebacker Miami
2001 Michael Strahan New York Giants Defensive End Texas Southern
2002 Derrick Brooks Tampa Bay Buccaneers Outside linebacker Florida St
2003 Ray Lewis Baltimore Ravens Middle Linebacker Miami
2004 Ed Reed Baltimore Ravens Safety Miami, FL
2005 Brian Urlacher Chicago Bears Middle linebacker New Mexico
2006 Jason Taylor Miami Dolphins Defensive End Akron
2007 Bob Sanders Indianapolis Colts Safety Iowa
2008 James Harrison Pittsburgh Steelers Outside Linebacker Kent State
2009 Charles Woodson Green Bay Packers Cornerback Michigan
2010 Clay Matthews III Green Bay Packers Outside linebacker USC
2011 Terrell Suggs Baltimore Ravens Outside linebacker Arizona State
2012 J. J. Watt Houston Texans Defensive End Wisconsin
2013 Robert Quinn St. Louis Rams Defensive End North Carolina
2014 J. J. Watt Houston Texans Defensive End Wisconsin
2015 J. J. Watt Houston Texans Defensive End Wisconsin
2016 Khalil Mack Oakland Raiders Defensive End Buffalo
2017 Calais Campbell Jacksonville Jaguars Defensive End Miami
2018 Aaron Donald Los Angeles Rams Defensive Tackle Pittsburgh

Newspaper Enterprise AssociationEdit

Beginning in 1966, the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) annually awarded the George S. Halas Trophy to the NFL's outstanding defensive player (Newspaper Enterprise Association Defensive Player of the Year Award). (The George S. Halas Trophy should not be confused with the Pro Football Writers Association's George S. Halas Courage Award or the National Football League's George Halas Trophy that is awarded to the NFC champion.) The winner was released via the NEA news service and also appeared in the World Almanac, which was an NEA publication. The award ran through 1996. It was considered one of the major awards and as included in the NFL Record and Fact Book and its winners still appear in the NFL's Official Encyclopedia, Total Football II. In his book, A Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football, sportswriter Paul Zimmerman touted the NEA for its All-Pro team and its awards, since they involved polling the players, rather than being a sportswriter's poll like the AP, UPI, and the PFWA.

Winners are awarded George S. Halas Trophy
1966Larry Wilson, S, St. Louis Cardinals
1967Deacon Jones, DE, Los Angeles Rams
1968— Deacon Jones, DE, Los Angeles Rams
1969Dick Butkus, MLB, Chicago Bears
1970— Dick Butkus, MLB, Chicago Bears
1971Carl Eller, DE, Minnesota Vikings
1972Joe Greene, DT, Pittsburgh Steelers
1973Alan Page, DT, Minnesota Vikings
1974— Joe Greene, DT, Pittsburgh Steelers
1975Curley Culp, DT, Houston Oilers
1976Jerry Sherk, DT, Cleveland Browns
1977Harvey Martin, DE, Dallas Cowboys
1978Randy Gradishar, ILB, Denver Broncos
1979Lee Roy Selmon, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1980Lester Hayes, CB, Oakland Raiders
1981Joe Klecko, DE, New York Jets
1982Mark Gastineau, DE, New York Jets
1983Jack Lambert, MLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
1984Mike Haynes, CB, Los Angeles Raiders
1985Howie Long, DE, Los Angeles Raiders/ Andre Tippett, OLB, New England Patriots (tie)
1986Lawrence Taylor, OLB, New York Giants
1987Reggie White, DE, Philadelphia Eagles
1988Mike Singletary, MLB, Chicago Bears
1989Tim Harris, OLB, Green Bay Packers
1990Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo Bills
1991Pat Swilling, OLB, New Orleans Saints
1992Junior Seau, LB, San Diego Chargers
1993Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo Bills
1994Deion Sanders, CB, San Francisco 49ers
1995Bryce Paup, OLB, Buffalo Bills
1996Kevin Greene, OLB, Carolina Panthers
1997Dana Stubblefield, DT, San Francisco 49ers

United Press International Edit

NFC winnersEdit

Season Player Team Position
1975 Jack Youngblood Los Angeles Rams Defensive End
1976 Wally Chambers Chicago Bears Defensive Tackle
1977 Harvey Martin Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle
1978 Randy White Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle
1979 Lee Roy Selmon Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive End
1980 Nolan Cromwell Los Angeles Rams Safety
1981 Fred Dean San Francisco 49ers Defensive End
1982 No Award
1983 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Linebacker
1984 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1985 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1986 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants Linebacker
1987 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End
1988 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears Linebacker
1989 Keith Millard Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle
1990 Charles Haley San Francisco 49ers Linebacker
1991 Reggie White Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End
1992 Chris Doleman Minnesota Vikings Defensive End
1993 Eric Allen Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback
1994 Charles Haley Dallas Cowboys Defensive End
1995 Reggie White Green Bay Packers Defensive End
1996 Kevin Greene Carolina Panthers Linebacker

AFC winnersEdit

Season Player Team Position
1975 Mel Blount Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback
1976 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker
1977 Lyle Alzado Denver Broncos Defensive End
1978 Randy Gradishar Denver Broncos Linebacker
1979 Jack Lambert Pittsburgh Steelers Linbebacker
1980 Lester Hayes Oakland Raiders Cornerback
1981 Joe Klecko New York Jets Defensive End
1982 No Award
1983 Rod Martin Los Angeles Raiders Linebacker
1984 Mark Gastineau New York Jets Defensive End
1985 Andre Tippett New England Patriots Linebacker
1986 Rulon Jones Denver Broncos Defensive End
1987 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End
1988 (tie) Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End
Cornelius Bennett Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1989 Michael Dean Perry Cleveland Browns Nose Tackle
1990 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End
1991 Cornelius Bennett Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1992 Junior Seau San Diego Chargers Linebacker
1993 Rod Woodson Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback
1994 Greg Lloyd Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker
1995 Bryce Paup Buffalo Bills Linebacker
1996 Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills Defensive End

Football DigestEdit

1992 - Junior Seau, MLB, San Diego Chargers
1993 - Deion Sanders, CB, Atlanta Falcons
1994 - Charles Haley, DE, Dallas Cowboys
1995 - Merton Hanks, S, San Francisco 49ers
1996 - Bruce Smith, DE, Buffalo Bills
1997 - Dana Stubblefield, DT, San Francisco 49ers
1998 - Junior Seau, MLB, San Diego Chargers
1999 - Warren Sapp, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2000 - Ray Lewis, MLB, Baltimore Ravens
2001 - Brian Urlacher, MLB, Chicago Bears
2002 - Derrick Brooks, OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2003 - Ray Lewis, ILB, Baltimore Ravens
2004 - Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens

Sporting NewsEdit

2008 - Albert Haynesworth, DT, Tennessee Titans
2009 - Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay Packers
2010 - Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers
2011 - Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings
2012 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2013 - Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
2014 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2015 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2016 - Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders
2017 - Calais Campbell, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
2018 - Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams

Sports IllustratedEdit

2008 - DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Dallas Cowboys
2009 - Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets
2010 - Julius Peppers, DE, Chicago Bears
2011 - Justin Smith, DE, San Francisco 49ers
2012 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2013 - Robert Quinn, DE, St. Louis Rams
2014 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

Pro Football FocusEdit

2011 - Justin Smith, DE, San Francisco 49ers
2012 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2013 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2014 - J. J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
2015 - Aaron Donald, DT, St. Louis Rams
2016 - Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
2017 - Harrison Smith, S, Minnesota Vikings
2018 - Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams

Kansas City Committee of 101Edit

Began in 1969, the "101" is 101 of the top NFL sportswriters who have been voting on awards, such as the Defensive Player of each Conference since 1969.

NFC Defensive Player of the Year
1969— Carl Eller, Minnesota Vikings
1970— Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings
1971— Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings
1972— Chris Hanburger, Washington Redskins
1973— Lee Roy Jordan, Dallas Cowboys
1974— Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings
1975— Jack Youngblood, Los Angeles Rams
1976— Jack Youngblood, Los Angeles Rams
1977— Harvey Martin, Dallas Cowboys
1978— Randy White, Dallas Cowboys
1979— Lee Roy Selmon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1980— Nolan Cromwell, Los Angeles Rams
1981— Fred Dean, San Francisco 49ers
1982— No award due to players strike
1983— Dave Butz, Washington Redskins
1984— Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants
1985— Mike Singletary, Chicago Bears
1986 —Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants
1987— Reggie White, Philadelphia Eagles
1988— Mike Singletary, Chicago Bears
1989— Keith Millard, Minnesota Vikings
1990— Charles Haley, San Francisco 49ers
1991— Pat Swilling, New Orleans Saints
1992— Wilber Marshall, Washington Redskins
1993— Deion Sanders, Atlanta Falcons
1994— Deion Sanders, San Francisco 49ers
1995— Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
1996— Kevin Greene, Carolina Panthers
1997— Dana Stubblefield, San Francisco 49ers
1998— Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
1999— Warren Sapp, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2000— La'Roi Glover, New Orleans Saints
2001— Michael Strahan, New York Giants
2002— Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2003— Michael Strahan, New York Giants
2004— Julius Peppers, Carolina Panthers
2005— Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears
2006— Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears
2007— Patrick Kerney, Seattle Seahawks
2008— DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys
2009— Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers
2010— Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
2011— Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings
2012— Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers
2013— Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers
2014— Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
2015— Aaron Donald, St. Louis Rams
2016— Landon Collins, New York Giants
2017— Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
2018— Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams

AFC Defensive Player of the Year
1969— Bobby Bell, Kansas City Chiefs
1970— Mike Curtis, Baltimore Colts
1971— Willie Lanier, Kansas City Chiefs
1972— Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers
1973— Dick Anderson, Miami Dolphins
1974— Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers
1975— Mel Blount, Pittsburgh Steelers
1976— Jack Lambert, Pittsburgh Steelers
1977— Lyle Alzado, Denver Broncos
1978— Randy Gradishar, Denver Broncos
1979— Mike Reinfeldt, Houston Oilers
1980— Lester Hayes, Oakland Raiders
1981— Joe Klecko, New York Jets
1982— No award due to players strike
1983— Doug Betters, Miami Dolphins
1984— Kenny Easley, Seattle Seahawks
1985— Andre Tippett, New England Patriots
1986— Deron Cherry, Kansas City Chiefs
1987— Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills
1988— Cornelius Bennett, Buffalo Bills
1989— Michael Dean Perry, Cleveland Browns
1990— Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills
1991— Derrick Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs
1992— Cortez Kennedy, Seattle Seahawks
1993— Rod Woodson, Pittsburgh Steelers
1994— Greg Lloyd, Pittsburgh Steelers
1995— Bryce Paup, Buffalo Bills
1996— Bruce Smith, Buffalo Bills
1997— Carnell Lake, Pittsburgh Steelers
1998— Junior Seau, San Diego Chargers
1999— Jevon Kearse, Tennessee Titans
2000— Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
2001— Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
2002— Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins
2003— Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
2004— Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens
2005— Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts
2006— Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins
2007— Bob Sanders, Indianapolis Colts
2008— James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers
2009— Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
2010— Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
2011— Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens
2012— J. J. Watt, Houston Texans
2013— Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts
2014— J. J. Watt, Houston Texans
2015— J. J. Watt, Houston Texans
2016— Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
2017— Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
2018— J. J. Watt, Houston Texans

See also Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Ray Lewis goes from murder suspect to NFL's Defensive Player of Year". Batesville Daily Guard website. Associated Press. January 3, 2001. http://www.guardonline.com/?q=node/14275. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  2. "First safety in 20 years to win defensive award". Associated Press. January 7, 2005. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=1961735. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  3. "Urlacher named AP Defensive Player of the Year". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 6, 2006. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2282829. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  4. Wilner, Barry (January 5, 2007). "Taylor takes home AP Defensive Player of the Year honor". USAToday.com. Associated Press. https://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/dolphins/2007-01-05-ap-defensive-player-award_x.htm. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  5. "AP picks Colts' Sanders as top defensive player". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 7, 2008. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3185005. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  6. Wilner, Barry (January 5, 2009). "Steelers' Harrison is AP Defensive Player of Year". google.com. Associated Press. https://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hAgAxyE0WeXvBWpXKE3vxftAxoMwD95H6MBG0. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  7. "CB Woodson voted AP's top defensive player". nfl.com. Associated Press. January 12, 2010. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d815ade86/article/packers-cb-woodson-voted-defensive-player-of-the-year. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  8. "Complete list of 'NFL Honors' award winners" (in en). http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001015493/article/complete-list-of-nfl-honors-award-winners.

External linksEdit

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