Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who led the NFL in receptions in 2016 and was named the co-winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award the past February, has been selected as the 2017 Good Guy Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Fitzgerald, the 13th Good Guy Award winner, is the second member of the Cardinals franchise to receive the honor from the PFWA, joining Kurt Warner, who received the award in 2009.
Other nominees for the Good Guy Award were Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, New England Patriots wide receiver/special teamer Matthew Slater and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.
The Good Guy Award is given to a NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs. The award has been presented annually by the PFWA since 2005.
Fitzgerald was nominated for his professionalism overall and willingness to provide both time and substance in interviews on both football and community activities off the field.
“Larry has come a long way in dealing with the media over his 13 NFL seasons,” said Kent Somers, who covers the Cardinals and the NFL for the Arizona Republic and azcentralsports.com. “He has always been polite, but in his younger days he didn’t see the need to stick around after games to talk to reporters. That’s changed dramatically over the years. He not only is accommodating to reporters, he’s also willing to give us insight that goes beyond the obvious. He’s a go-to interview on almost any subject. And for the last several years, he’s been the last guy out of the locker room every game day.”
On the field, Fitzgerald led the NFL with 107 receptions in 2016, with 1,023 receiving yards and six touchdowns. His 1,125 career receptions are third all-time in NFL history and the most by an active player, and he extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 195, the third-longest streak in NFL history. Fitzgerald is one of seven players in league history, and the only active player, with both 14,000 career receiving yards (14,389) and 100 touchdown receptions (104).
ABOUT THE PFWA: The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams daily. Jim Trotter, who is a NFL reporter for ESPN, is the organization’s president for the 2017-18 seasons, while Bleacher Report national columnist Dan Pompei is the PFWA’s first vice-president and Newsday’s Bob Glauber is the organization’s second vice-president. Follow the PFWA at ProFootballWriters.org and on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.
GOOD GUY AWARD WINNERS (To a NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job) Year indicates when award was presented for previous season: 2005 – Jerome Bettis (Pittsburgh Steelers); 2006 – Tiki Barber (New York Giants); 2007 – LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers); 2008 – Brett Favre (Green Bay Packers); 2009 – Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals); 2010 – Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints); 2011 – Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers); 2012 – Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos); 2013 – Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons); 2014 – Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks); 2015 – Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks); 2016 – Thomas Davis (Carolina Panthers); 2017 – Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals).