Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson were named FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year, which the National Football League announced tonight, February 6, during NFL Honors -- a two-hour primetime special aired nationally on CBS the night before Super Bowl 50.
FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year awards are a culmination of weekly awards presented by FedEx throughout the NFL season that give football fans the ability to honor stand-out quarterback and running back performances each week, which in turn, directs charitable donations to American Red Cross chapters in the winning players' cities.
Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer led the Cardinals to a 13-3 record after throwing for 4,671 yards, the fourth most this season. Palmer was tied for the second-most touchdown passes with 35 this season and had the third-best passer rating in the league (104.6). His passing yards and touchdown passes this season were both franchise records.
Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson finished the season with an NFL-best 1,485 rushing yards and tied for the league lead with 11 rushing touchdowns. Peterson is just the third player in NFL history to lead the league in rushing yards after his 30th birthday. He joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith (eight) and LaDainian Tomlinson (nine) as the only players in NFL history to rush for 10 touchdowns in at least eight different seasons.
Palmer and Peterson were selected from a panel of three finalists in their respective Air and Ground categories. The other FedEx Air NFL Players of the Year finalists were quarterbacks Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, while the FedEx Ground NFL Players of the Year finalists included running backs Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams and Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This season, fans voted for more than their favorite player. In honor of the winners' outstanding play, FedEx is donating $50,000 donation to American Red Cross chapters in Arizona and Minnesota -- $25,000 in each player's name for their local market. The funding is used to support disaster relief and a variety of urgent humanitarian needs provided for by the American Red Cross.
As part of the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week program, FedEx supported its commitment to serving the community by making weekly $2,000 donations to local American Red Cross chapters in each of the winning player's names. This amounted to a total contribution of $118,000 this season and over $1.7 million since the program's inception. In supporting both the American Red Cross and the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week and Year awards, FedEx strives to recognize great game plans both on and off the field, whether it's a winning strategy for victory on Sunday or disaster preparedness, relief and recovery in the local community.
The $50,000 donation is part of FedEx's larger commitment following the launch of the new global giving platform, FedEx Cares. Coinciding with Super Bowl 50, FedEx announced a $50 million commitment to deliver resources where they are needed most in times of disaster and for special shipments. The $50 million commitment is part of the company's larger $200 million investment in more than 200 communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver solutions around the world.
As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx is proud to sponsor the 13th annual FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year Awards. The awards highlight the league's leaders at the quarterback and running back positions, recognizing the players that consistently deliver the best results throughout the season.
Previous FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year Award winners