The NFL Honors Show on Saturday will reveal the award winners from 2020. The favorites for some of the awards are Aaron Rodgers as MVP, Derrick Henry as offensive player of the year, Chase Young as defensive rookie of the year, Justin Herbert as offensive rookie of the year and Kevin Stefanski as coach of the year.
It would come as a surprise if any of those are unanimous choices, though, and other candidates for those awards certainly are as deserving.
The one shoo-in is Alex Smith, who likely is the unanimous winner of comeback player of the year. How can anyone argue? In fact, they should name the award after him.
Smith underwent 17 surgeries to save his life and his right leg and missed a year of football rehabbing before an inspirational return in 2020.
The question Smith left everyone with at the end of the season is: What’s next?
Smith, 36, is signed through 2022 with $40 million owed to him over the next two seasons and a salary cap hit of $24.4 million for 2021. He has not committed to a return next season.
He joined the Rachael Ray Show this week, though, and made it sound as if he’s leaning toward a return.
“For me, this year was such a crazy rush to be out there, practicing out there every single day, to be able to put on my cleats and helmet,” Smith said on the show, via Ethan Cadeaux of NBC Sports Washington. “But for me, the crazy thing was how well my body responded to that. I just feel like I continued to get stronger and stronger and better and better. I still feel like I’m kind of a kid right now headed into the offseason. . . . I had such an amazing time playing. I felt so good out there. It was crazy after that first game how comfortable I felt back out on the field.”
Smith plans to ski and snowboard this offseason, he said.
“I’m excited for this offseason to see what I can go do — football and everything else,” Smith said. “I plan on doing as much as I can.”