The entire San Diego Chargers roster voted on team awards and a few players were recognized for their fantastic performances throughout the 2016 season.
MVP: Casey Hayward
The Chargers voted Casey Hayward as the team’s MVP. According to Ricky Henne of Chargers.com, the Chargers have only voted a defensive player as team MVP three times in the past fifteen years. (Eric Weddle ‘12 and Jamal Williams ‘08)
It’s hard to argue that Hayward doesn’t deserve this honor. Hayward was signed to be this team’s nickel cornerback and transformed into a true shutdown cornerback. Hayward has 7 interceptions and 20 passes defended so far this season and he is on his way to his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Offensive Player of the Year: Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon was one of the best running backs in the NFL this season. He is on the brink of a 1,000 yards season. Gordon also has 10 touchdowns to his name so far and he has yet to be ruled out for the week 17 matchup against the Chiefs so his numbers may look even more impressive.
From an awful rookie season to a tremendous sophomore year, Gordon has made a believer of almost everyone. It’s a great way for the team to show how much they appreciate his improvement by voting for the talented back.
Defensive Player of the Year: Casey Hayward
Hayward takes home his second team award and this one for being the best defensive player.
Again, he was tremendous this season and it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t deserve this award. Besides Joey Bosa, no other player made quite the impact that Hayward did.
Special Teams Player of the Year: Darrell Stuckey
Darrell Stuckey is the Chargers best special teams player on the roster. This is the 3rd time in four years that he has one this award and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Stuckey has been able to etch out a nice seven-year career as a tremendous special teamer.
Although his name may not be well-known around the NFL, Stuckey has been a valuable asset to the Chargers for seven seasons.
Co-Lineman of the Year: Matt Slauson and Joey Bosa
Another award the players got right.
The two best lineman on the roster this season were Matt Slauson and Joey Bosa.
Slauson, in his first year as a Charger, has been the best offensive lineman on the roster. It is clear that Philip Rivers has a great rapport with him and the way he has been able to open up holes along the inside for Melvin Gordon has been a game changer.
On the other hand, there is the historic performance of rookie Joey Bosa. Even with missing the first four games of the season, the Ohio State product has looked like an elite player in the prime of his career. In both pass-rushing and stopping the run, it is hard to tell that Bosa is just a rookie. Bosa has 9.5 tackles for loss and 24 total tackles on the year.
Most Inspirational Player: Brandon Mebane
The veteran nose tackle, signed a 3-year deal with the Chargers this offseason and gave the Bolts a true run-stopper up the middle. Prior to his season-ending injury in mid-November, Mebane and the rest of the defensive line looked like a productive unit. The Chargers defense seemed to be turning the corner for a few weeks until Mebane went down.
Clearly, his presence was missed in the locker room as well. At 31, Mebane has been in the NFL a long time and was a part of a Super Bowl-winning Seattle team. He seemed like a team leader and this award proves that. Hopefully, he can come back healthy and provide another solid season for the Bolts next year.