NFL offseason awards: Winners announced

Photo illustration by Nick Roy / theScore

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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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.

Best re-signing

Podium Voting
🥇 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.

Best trade

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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

Podium Voting
🥇 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.

NFL offseason awards: Winners announced
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