Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl running back Fred Taylor was named FEDEX Ground NFL Player of the Year, the NFL announced today at a press conference in Arizona, site of Super Bowl XLII.
More than 1,000,000 fan votes were cast at NFL.com from Tuesday, January 8th through Wednesday, January 23th. After tabulating this season's fan voting the six finalists were chosen by a panel of NFL experts.
Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre was named FEDEX Air NFL Player of the Year. In honor of the Taylor's award, FedEx will donate $25,000 to Wolfson Children's Hospital (Baptist) in Jacksonville. In addition, Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation in Arizona will receive a $25,000 donation during the week of Super Bowl XLII.
Taylor earned the first Pro Bowl trip of his 10-year career as he led the Jaguars to an 11-5 record and the number five seed in the AFC in 2007. Taylor ranked fifth in the AFC in rushing with 1,202 rushing yards and led the AFC with a 5.4 average per rush. He finished the regular season with five consecutive 100-yard rushing games, the only NFL player in 2007 to accomplish the feat. In addition, he became the 21st player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career rushing yards and set the franchise's career record for yards from scrimmage and all-purpose yards.
Favre and Taylor were selected from among six finalists in air and ground categories. The other FedEx Express NFL Player of the Year finalists were New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY and Dallas Cowboys quarterback TONY ROMO. Minnesota Vikings running back ADRIAN PETERSON and San Diego Chargers running back LADAINIAN TOMLINSON were finalists for FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year. Taylor was nominated for two FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week awards in 2007, winning once.
Last year, New Orleans Saints QB DREW BREES and San Diego Chargers RB LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON were named the 2006 FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year. Bengals QB CARSON PALMER and Seattle Seahawks RB SHAUN ALEXANDER were named the 2005 FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year. Colts QB PEYTON MANNING and New York Jets RB CURTIS MARTIN were named the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year in 2004. Manning was also the winner of the 2003 FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year Award, along with Green Bay Packers RB AHMAN GREEN.