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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson named NFL’s Most Valuable Player

By Homero De la Fuente and Jacob Lev, CNN

(CNN) — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was named the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player on Thursday night, becoming the 11th player in league history to have won the award more than once.

The 27-year-old, who also was MVP of the 2019 season, accepted this season’s award at the NFL Honors ceremony in Las Vegas.

“I want to thank my organization, the Baltimore Ravens, for finally getting a deal done,” Jackson joked while accepting the award, nodding to a contract-negotiation saga that saw him requesting a trade in March before signing an extension ahead of the season.

“My offense man, my offensive line. Can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done. I’m not out there blocking, catching the ball, you know, doing everything. It’s my team, it’s a team thing for these awards, and I want to thank my family at home.”

Jackson lit the league on fire during the regular season, leading all quarterbacks in touchdown passes and directing the NFL’s highest-scoring offense to a 13-4 record and the AFC’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Baltimore eventually lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game.

The Ravens signal-caller finished the regular season with career-highs in completion percentage (67.2 percent) and passing yards (3,678), while totaling 29 touchdowns and 821 rushing yards.

Peppers and Freeney among those going to Hall of Fame

Earlier in the ceremony, the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced.

That class will include defensive end Julius Peppers, defensive end Dwight Freeney, wide receiver/returner Devin Hester, wide receiver Andre Johnson, linebacker Patrick Willis, defensive tackle Steve McMichael, and linebacker Randy Gradishar.

The Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for August 3 in Canton, Ohio.

Flacco named comeback player of the year

CIeveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco beat out Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin for NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

The 39-year-old Flacco started the last five games of the season, leading the Browns to a playoff berth while throwing for 1,616 passing yards and 13 touchdowns.

It had looked like Flacco’s playing days were over after a disappointing 2022 season with the New York Jets. But he returned to the league in November, when the Browns, needing help because of injuries, signed him to their practice squad. His first start of the season was on December 3.

Hamlin made an emotional return to the field this season, months after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game in January 2023.

Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle, taking a blow to the head and chest area, during the Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals last season. Doctors and trainers performed CPR on Hamlin when he lost his pulse, and he needed to be revived through resuscitation and defibrillation. He was on a ventilator for days and spent over a week in a Cincinnati hospital.

After being cleared to resume football activities in April, Hamlin eventually returned to the field, first during one of the team’s preseason games and then occasionally throughout the season and playoffs.

Other award winners of the night were: Houston Texans quarterback CJ Stroud won Offensive Rookie of the Year; Browns defensive end Myles Garrett won Defensive Player of the Year; Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski won Coach of the Year; and Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward won Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

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