What does it mean to be the Most Valuable Player in a sports league? Is it the best player? The player most valuable to the league? The player most valuable to his team?
No one really knows. In most cases, MVP ultimately becomes a Potter Stewart-style analysis, and you simply know it when you see it.
This year, we know it when we see it that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the MVP.
Rodgers responded to an actual/perceived diss on draft draft, when the Packers packaged a fourth-round pick with their first-round pick to move up and take quarterback Jordan Love. Rodgers wasn’t happy; his unofficial surrogate, Brett Favre (ironically), made Rodgers’ dismay known. Rodgers himself later acknowledged that the news prompted him to sip several fingers of tequila.
But instead of becoming a problem, instead of pouting, instead of brooding, he buckled down and kicked ass.
For the season, Rodgers threw 48 touchdown passes against five interceptions. Rodgers had more touchdown passes than the Packers had punts. He completed more than 70 percent of his passes, generating a passer rating of 121.5. The Packers finished with the No. 1 seed in the NFC, two wins at Lambeau Field away from their first Super Bowl berth in a decade.
Rodgers was, in the year he turned 37, as good as ever — if not better.
Others in the conversation were Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and Titans running back Derrick Henry. This year, however, was Rodgers’ year. With Love on the roster looming over Rodgers’ shoulder, next year could be, too.