San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who had a career year on the field while dealing with family tragedies during the 2017 season, has been selected as the 2018 George Halas Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Goodwin, the 50th Halas Award winner, is the fifth member (sixth recipient) of the 49ers franchise to receive the honor from the PFWA, joining Jimmy Johnson (1972), Joe Montana (1988, 1994), Bryant Young (2000) and Garrison Hearst (2002).
Other 2018 nominees for the Halas Award were Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, New York Giants tackle Nate Solder and Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.
The Halas Award is given to a NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed. The award is named for Halas, a charter member (1963) of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who was associated with the Chicago Bears and NFL from their inception in 1920 until his death in 1983 as an owner, manager, player and promoter. Halas won 324 games and six NFL titles in 40 seasons as a coach.
The Halas Award is one of the two-oldest awards presented by the PFWA, along with the Dick McCann Award, presented to a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage.
Goodwin was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the 49ers in 2017. He and his wife, Morgan, suffered a personal tragedy when their premature baby boy died due to complications during pregnancy on November 12. Hours later, he took the field against the New York Giants and caught an 83-yard touchdown pass, the longest by a 49ers player since 2014. He blew a kiss to the sky before crossing the goal line and dropped to his knees in the end zone in prayer, overcome with emotion. The TD was the key play in San Francisco’s first victory of the year. Goodwin also went through the loss of his biological father in December and was carted off the field after sustaining an injury in the final game of the season at the Los Angeles Rams. He had a career year with 56 receptions for 962 yards and two touchdowns and was third in the NFL in reception average at 17.2 yards per catch.
“Marquise Goodwin had his best NFL season while experiencing unimaginable personal tragedy. Just hours after the death of his unborn child, he played and played well. He then rushed home to be with his wife, Morgan. The next week was the bye week, and Marquise took part in a conference call with the beat reporters to speak at length about the ordeal. He hoped his words would serve as comfort for other families experiencing similar difficulties,” said Matt Maiocco, the 49ers beat reporter for NBC Sports Bay Area. “Through all the heartbreak he experienced, Marquise also had his breakout season. If it weren’t for a scary head injury he sustained in the final game, he probably would have reached the 1,000-yard mark in receiving. In his first season with the 49ers, Marquise gave the team everything it wanted from its players both on and off the field.”
Goodwin received the 2017 Garry Niver Award, given by the San Francisco chapter of the PFWA to a 49ers player for his cooperation and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their jobs during the season.
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. Bob Glauber, the national football columnist for Newsday, is the organization’s president for the 2018 season, while Bleacher Report national columnist Dan Pompei is the PFWA’s first vice-president. Follow the PFWA at ProFootballWriters.org and on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.
GEORGE HALAS AWARD WINNERS (To the NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed) Year indicates when award was presented for previous season: 1969 – Joe Namath (New York Jets); 1970 – Gale Sayers (Chicago Bears); 1971 – Tom Dempsey (New Orleans Saints); 1972 – Jimmy Johnson (San Francisco 49ers); 1973 – Mike Tilleman (Atlanta Falcons); 1974 – Dick Butkus (Chicago Bears); 1975 – Rocky Bleier (Pittsburgh Steelers); 1976 – Billy Kilmer (Washington Redskins); 1977 – Tom DeLeone (Cleveland Browns); 1978 – Pat Fischer (Washington Redskins); 1979 – Bert Jones (Baltimore Colts); 1980 – Roger Staubach (Dallas Cowboys); 1981 – Rolf Benirschke (San Diego Chargers); 1982 – Joe Klecko (New York Jets); 1983 – Eddie Lee Ivery (Green Bay Packers); 1984 – Ted Hendricks (Los Angeles Raiders); 1985 – John Stallworth (Pittsburgh Steelers); 1986 – Gary Jeter (Los Angeles Rams); 1987 – William Andrews (Atlanta Falcons); 1988 – Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers); 1989 – Karl Nelson (New York Giants); 1990 – Tim Krumrie (Cincinnati Bengals); 1991 – Dan Hampton (Chicago Bears); 1992 – Mike Utley (Detroit Lions); 1993 – Mark Bavaro (Cleveland Browns); 1994 – Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers); 1995 – Dan Marino (Miami Dolphins); 1996 – Larry Brown (Oakland Raiders); 1997 – Jim Harbaugh (Indianapolis Colts); 1998 – Mark Schlereth (Denver Broncos); 1999 – Dan Reeves (Atlanta Falcons); 2000 – Bryant Young (San Francisco 49ers); 2001 – Kerry Collins (New York Giants); 2002 – Garrison Hearst (San Francisco 49ers); 2003 – Robert Edwards (Miami Dolphins); 2004 – Sam Mills (Carolina Panthers); 2005 – Mark Fields (Carolina Panthers); 2006 – Tony Dungy (Indianapolis Colts); 2007 – Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints); 2008 – Kevin Everett (Buffalo Bills); 2009 – Matt Bryant (Tampa Bay Buccaneers); 2010 – Mike Zimmer (Cincinnati Bengals); 2011 – Mike Heimerdinger (Tennessee Titans); 2012 – Robert Kraft (New England Patriots); 2013 – Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts); 2014 – O.J. Brigance (Baltimore Ravens); 2015 – Steve Gleason (New Orleans Saints); 2016 – Eric Berry (Kansas City Chiefs); 2017 – David Quessenberry (Houston Texans); 2018 – Marquise Goodwin (San Francisco 49ers)