The NFL season has officially concluded. It is now time to give out player awards. These awards are in the style of the NFL honors. Here are the seven awards that these Carolina Panthers players will receive, MVP (Most Valuable Panther), OPOY (Offensive Panther of the Year), DPOY (Defensive Panther of the Year), ROY (Rookie of the Year), MUP (Most Underrated Panther), CPOY (Comeback Panther of the Year), and GSOS (Greatest Signing of the Offseason).
GSOS: Bradley Bozeman
Our first award is the most significant off-season signing award that goes to Bradley Bozeman. Bozeman brought leadership to an offensive line that needed it. His oversight is beneficial because they have a rookie Ikem Ekounu.
He and his wife, Nikki Bozeman, have been active members of the Charlotte community. Both are very active on Social media, which is another reason fans can connect with the Bozeman family. Bozeman should be one of the first guys Carolina needs to resign.
ROY: Ikem Ekounu
Ekounu was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft from North Carolina State. Ickey had the highest pass-blocking among rookies with a 65.3 PFF pass-blocking grade and played 1,108, the highest among Panthers rookies. In addition, Ekounu provided more depth at the tackle position (they already had Cameron Erving on the roster).
MUP: Frankie Luvu
Frankie Luvu is a crucial part of the Panthers’ defense. This past season Luvu had 76 solo tackles, 19 of those tackles being for a loss. At the end of the season, Luvu racked up seven sacks in addition to the first and only interception of his career. Luvu is that reliable linebacker for Carolina. It will be exciting to see what he can do with Ejiro Evero.
COPY: Jaycee Horn
This award goes to cornerback Jaycee Horn, one of the best in the league. His rookie year was cut short by a foot fracture in a win over the Houston Texans. Horn worked his way back through rehab, came back this past year, and was elite for the Panthers.
His PFF grade was 74.1. However, he is still arguably the best cornerback and played lockdown defense. For example, during the Denver Broncos game, the leading receiver was Courtland Sutton, with 75 yards. Late that season, against the Seattle Seahawks, he shut down D.K. Metcalf, who only had 71 yards.
Unfortunately, during the Detroit Lions game, he suffered a wrist injury that took him out of a pivotal game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Horn is in, Carolina wins versus the Bucs.
DPOY: Brian Burns
Brian Burns had a career season. He was the most productive defensive player, and he had 24 solo tackles and 12-and-a-half sacks (tied for eighth in the league for sacks with J.J. Watt and Maxx Crosby). Burns was also the only Carolina Panthers to be at the Pro Bowl. Burns recorded at least a sack in most games this season.
OPOY: D.J. Moore
D.J. Moore this season had 63 receptions for 888 yards with seven touchdowns. Moore was crucial during the season when the Panthers were trying to find their offensive identity. Along with a carousel of quarterbacks (Sam Darnold, PJ Walker, and Baker Mayfield).
MVP: D’Onta Foreman
Arguably the best thing decision in the Matt Rhule era. But Rhule did bring in D’Onta Foreman (although he did not use him initially). When Rhule got fired, Steve Wilks started using Foreman. He then became the focal point of Carolina’s offense. Foreman had 914 yards and five touchdowns. This was only over half of the season because Foreman was not being used in the first quarter of the season.
The fact that he could get almost 1,000 yards on the ground and not be used the full season is impressive. In some games Carolina played, it was the Panthers who went as far as Foreman went. This is a player Carolina has to re-sign.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images