AP makes important rule change to voting for awards

For years, the Associated Press has issued various awards after each football season. This year, the AP has made an important change to the voting rules.

For MVP, the 50 voters will no longer cast a single, all-in ballot. Instead, each voter will name five players, ranking them first through fifth. A weighted system will determine the winner.

For all other awards (offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year, offensive rookie of the year, defensive rookie of the year, comeback player of the year, and coach of the year), voters will list three names.

“The essence of the AP NFL Awards remains the same – to recognize the top performers of the season,” AP global sports editor Ricardo Zuniga said in an item posted on the AP website. “Our goal is to provide the voters with an accurate and fair voting system to reflect their preferences. These tweaks will help them in their selection process.”

The voters also will name first-team and second-team All-Pros at each position. Previously, it was one vote per position per voter.

The All-Pro team usually is named the Friday after the regular season ends. The AP awards are announced at an NFL-hosted ceremony the night before the Super Bowl.