Matthew Stafford Revealed as Finalist for Top NFL Award

Matthew Stafford

Getty Matthew Stafford fires a pass against the Packers.

The Detroit Lions haven’t seen Matthew Stafford on the field in a while, but that doesn’t mean their quarterback hasn’t been in the news for a more positive reason.

Recently, Stafford was revealed to be a finalist for the Art Rooney Award. Stafford is one of eight finalists for the award, along with plenty of other big names in football.

In addition to Stafford, the other finalists for the award were revealed to be Calais Campbell (Jaguars), linebacker Thomas Davis (Chargers), wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (Colts) and wide receiver Matthew Slater (Patriots) in the AFC, and running back Adrian Peterson (Redskins), tackle Joe Staley (49ers) and safety Eric Weddle (Rams).

What is the Art Rooney Award?

A few weeks back, Stafford was revealed as Detroit’s representative for this major NFL honor. Here’s a look at the explanation of what the award is and how balloting will go from the official NFL release:

“The winner of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. From the eight finalists, each team’s players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

The winner, selected by the vote of the players, will be announced during the nationally televised NFL Honors show on Saturday, February 1 on FOX, the night before Super Bowl LIV. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He will also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.”

Stafford certainly exemplifies this from the Detroit perspective, whether he’s playing the game or off the field of play.

Last season, long snapper Don Muhlbach was the team’s Rooney Award nominee. Stafford joins an accomplished list of players to have the honor of being nominated lately such as Muhlbach and former safety Glover Quin.

Matthew Stafford’s Leadership

There’s no doubting the fact that Stafford deserves an award like this. Through the years, he’s been selfless and has led the Lions by example on and off the field of play. Even when hurt, Stafford shows up and manages to play through the pain in order to take his team where he wants it to go.

For this reason, Stafford is the perfect potential recipient of this award for the team. After the offseason he had with his wife, he deserves to get the love for being a team and community leader.

Matthew Stafford’s 2019 Stats

Doing his best to try and shift the narrative from those who are negative about him, Stafford was on a tear in the early season, putting up more touchdowns than interceptions while also going well over 2,000 yards. He’s played consistent and looks the part of a guy who is ready to make the 30s the best years of his career. The Lions also have a better offense under Stafford now, as they are being led by Darrell Bevell, a guy who has worked with elite quarterbacks and elite offenses before.

This season, Stafford’s play has been a breath of fresh air for the team, and without him, the season has become a nosedive. It seems the team’s new offense, which is putting up numbers and popular in the locker room, is suiting its quarterback well. Mistakes have been limited and the big plays have come more freely and frequently with Stafford running the show.

Stafford seems to be on the right track toward getting the Lions over the hump once he comes back. The hope for fans is that he has a quick recovery and can get back soon for a team that badly needs him on the field.

Winning this award would be a nice kick-start to 2020 for Stafford, and the fans are rooting for him to take it home.

READ NEXT: Top SEC Defender Goes to Lions in Mock