NFL offseason awards: Winners announced
theScore's football editors nominated candidates for awards across the categories of coaching and front-office hires, free agency, and the draft. YOU voted to decide the 2020 offseason's best moves.
And the winners are ...
Best front-office and coaching moves
Best head coach hire
|🥇 Mike McCarthy to Cowboys||41.2%|
|🥈 Ron Rivera to Redskins||24.7%|
|🥉 Kevin Stefanski to Browns||14.0%|
"America's Team" took home the hardware by hiring the only nominee with a Super Bowl win as a head coach. Stefanski, the Cleveland Browns' eighth head coach since 2010 (and third in the last three seasons), narrowly edged former Baylor boss Matt Rhule for a spot on the podium. The New York Giants' hiring of Joe Judge inspired little confidence, apparently, garnering a scant 6.7% of the thousands of votes cast.
Best coordinator hire
|🥇 Gary Kubiak promoted to Vikings OC||36.3%|
|🥈 Jason Garrett to Giants as OC||22.3%|
|🥉 Joe Brady to Panthers as OC||22.0%|
Voters loved the proven commodities in former head coaches Kubiak and Garrett. The former was an integral part of the Minnesota Vikings' scoring unit in 2019, acting as an assistant head coach and offensive advisor. Meanwhile, Brady lands on the podium - despite never holding an offensive coordinator position at any level - after leading LSU's assault on college football last season.
Best front-office move
|🥇 Ron Rivera gets personnel control for Redskins||55.4%|
|🥈 Andrew Berry gets Browns' GM gig||38.7%|
|🥉 Bill O'Brien officially gets Texans' GM title||5.9%|
There weren't many major front-office moves in 2020, but it's easy to see why Rivera earned the top spot. Berry has familiarity with the Browns and a year of experience as Howie Roseman's right-hand man with the Philadelphia Eagles, while O'Brien's questionable offseason moves resulted in minimal approval among voters.
Best decision to stick with status quo
|🥇 Steelers retain Mike Tomlin||72.5%|
|🥈 Chargers retain Anthony Lynn||17.3%|
|🥉 Lions retain Matt Patricia||10.2%|
Despite failing to qualify for the playoffs in each of the last two campaigns, Tomlin's stability and past success led him to the top spot. Unlike Patricia, Lynn has earned a postseason berth during his tenure, which was certainly a factor in him placing second ahead of the Detroit Lions boss.
Best free-agent signings and trades
Best marquee free-agent signing
|🥇 Tom Brady to Buccaneers||58.5%|
|🥈 Cory Littleton to Raiders||11.0%|
|🥉 Philip Rivers to Colts||10.5%|
Perhaps no player will have a greater impact on the 2020 campaign than Brady, who has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers primed for a Super Bowl run. He unsurprisingly took home the gold here with more votes than the other five candidates combined. After Brady, there was a real battle for the podium. Littleton was deemed the best defensive signing, while Rivers narrowly edged out Byron Jones for third place.
Best bargain free-agent signing
|🥇 Emmanuel Sanders to Saints||29.8%|
|🥈 Todd Gurley to Falcons||25.2%|
|🥉 Chris Harris to Chargers||16.0%|
Sanders and Gurley were locked in a battle for first place, but the former - whose speed and craftiness were added to Sean Payton's offense - came away victorious. Chris Harris, who will beef up the Los Angeles Chargers' scary secondary, beat out Ha Ha Clinton-Dix signing with the Cowboys by a mere 11 votes to earn bronze.
|🥇 Drew Brees to Saints||42.6%|
|🥈 Amari Cooper to Cowboys||24.7%|
|🥉 Arik Armstead to 49ers||10.2%|
The New Orleans Saints made it two golds in a row with their no-brainer decision to bring back future Hall of Famer Brees. Despite still needing to extend Dak Prescott, the Cowboys earned silver with their move to re-sign Cooper, while Armstead's pass-rush prowess will be useful in 2020 after the San Francisco 49ers traded DeForest Buckner.
|🥇 Cardinals acquire DeAndre Hopkins||60.9%|
|🥈 Bills acquire Stefon Diggs||18.1%|
|🥉 Buccaneers acquire Rob Gronkowski||7.2%|
The Arizona Cardinals acquiring Hopkins in what was a highway robbery was destined to capture the gold here, but we didn't expect such a landslide. Diggs is an appropriate choice for silver and will surely aid Josh Allen in his third year under center. Tampa Bay's trade for Gronk earned a surprisingly low vote tally, as the future Hall of Famer will round out a scary scoring unit if healthy.
Most improved team after free agency and trades
|🥇 Tampa Bay Buccaneers||43.3%|
|🥈 Buffalo Bills||20.1%|
|🥉 Miami Dolphins||13.2%|
The Bucs didn't make a ton of moves this offseason, but the additions of just Brady and Gronk helped them take home the win. By improving their roster on both sides of the ball, the Buffalo Bills distanced themselves from the rest of the pack to earn second place, with the Miami Dolphins barely edging out the Cardinals for the podium's final spot.
Best draft picks and draft-day trades
Best draft pick on offense
|🥇 Cowboys pick CeeDee Lamb||34.6%|
|🥈 Broncos pick Jerry Jeudy||19.8%|
|🥉 Dolphins pick Tua Tagovailoa||16.6%|
The Cowboys ending Lamb's fall at No. 17 overall was the clear choice among voters. Jeudy, who was picked two spots ahead of Lamb, earned silver on our podium. Tagovailoa wasn't the first choice here, just as he wasn't in the draft, but he didn't have to wait long to hear his name called.
Best draft pick on defense
|🥇 Bills pick A.J. Epenesa||28.1%|
|🥈 Ravens pick Patrick Queen||27.3%|
|🥉 Giants pick Xavier McKinney||19.3%|
Voters loved the value the Bills found with their selection of edge rusher Epenesa in the mid-second after he was often projected to go in the first. Queen's rare athleticism should instantly transform the Baltimore Ravens' defense, while getting McKinney in the second round was a coup for the Giants.
Best Day 3 draft pick
|🥇 Colts pick Jacob Eason||40.5%|
|🥈 Dolphins pick Curtis Weaver||23.5%|
|🥉 Raiders pick Amik Robertson||14.1%|
The Indianapolis Colts finding a potential successor to Philip Rivers in the fourth round made them the runaway winner here. Meanwhile, Weaver and Robertson are two potential impact players who were selected several rounds later than some experts had them pegged.
Best trade during the draft
|🥇 Vikings trade 3rd-round pick for rest of Saints' picks||29.4%|
|🥈 Vikings trade No. 25 pick for 49ers' No. 31 plus 4th- and 5th-rounders||22.4%|
|🥉 Patriots trade out of 1st round for Chargers' 2nd- and 3rd-round picks||19.4%|
Voters adored the moves the Vikings made during the draft, which resulted in the team selecting an astonishing 15 players across seven rounds. The Patriots' trade back - something they do seemingly every other year - also garnered some love.
Best overall draft class
|🥇 Dallas Cowboys||32.1%|
|🥈 Baltimore Ravens||24.9%|
|🥉 Denver Broncos||21.4%|
With Lamb as the crown jewel, the Cowboys took the gold here. The additions of cornerback Trevon Diggs (51st overall), defensive tackle Neville Gallimore (82nd), and center Tyler Biadasz (146th) after the first round boost this excellent draft class.
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