While Gang Green fans are clamoring for their Jets to win their second Super Bowl and first since the 1968 season, New York likely wouldn't mind the four-time Associated Press Most Valuable Player ending a franchise-long drought, as well.
A dozen NFL franchises will vie for their first Super Bowl victory in the 2023 season, but seven teams -- including the Jets -- are still searching for their first player to win the league's most coveted individual accolade.
Here's a breakdown thanks to NFL Research identifying each NFL club that's yet to celebrate an MVP and who the top candidates might be in 2023.
The Cardinals haven't had a player finish in the MVP's top-five voting since Carson Palmer in 2015, and 2023 likely won't see that desert drought concluded. Franchise QB Kyler Murray is likely to miss the start of the season, so he’s more likely a Comeback Player of the Year candidate than an MVP. Conner’s 26 scrimmage touchdowns since 2021 are second in the NFL, so he’s probably the closest long shot on a Cardinals squad that’s in rebuild mode.
J.J. Watt is entering the Texans’ Ring of Honor this year and he just so happens to be the club’s last top-five MVP vote-getter, having finished runner-up behind Rodgers in 2014. It’s unlikely an MVP frontrunner will emerge for a squad that’s tallied a combined 11 wins over the past three seasons, but if a turnaround happens, it’s likely to be led by the No. 2 overall pick. And Stroud wouldn’t just make Texans history, as he’d be the first rookie to win MVP since Jim Brown in 1957.
No Jaguars player has ever received an MVP vote. One would be hard-pressed to think that won’t change emphatically in Lawrence’s burgeoning career. A lot changed in one year’s time for Lawrence and the Jags as they rose to AFC South champions in 2022. In 2023 -- if Lawrence, coming off a 25-touchdown, 4,000-yard Pro Bowl campaign -- continues to ascend, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be a regular in the MVP convo this year.
It's arduous to fathom that future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, owner of a Super Bowl ring and a treasure trove of statistical gold, doesn’t have an MVP on his resume. But he doesn’t and neither does the Saints franchise. Carr is a four-time Pro Bowler who’s motivated after an unceremonious exit in Las Vegas. Though the Raiders lost more than they won with Carr, he engineered 33 game-winning drives since 2014 -- tops in the NFL. If Carr clutches up and balls out in the Big Easy, it’s not impossible to think he could be a contender.
The annual NFL Honors might as well reside in Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood. Rodgers has four AP NFL MVPs on his first-ballot Hall of Fame resume, which is second all time. Rodgers won back-to-back MVPs in 2020-2021. Though he’s only a few months from his 40th birthday, Rodgers still isn’t far removed from being voted as the league’s top dog. If Rodgers leads a Jets playoff parade, a fifth MVP could be a reality. Then again, if he leads New York to the Super Bowl, he could be a Gotham legend rivaled only by Batman and Broadway Joe.
Last year’s MVP runner-up to Patrick Mahomes, Hurts is coming off a stellar campaign entering his age-25 season. One of the league’s fresh-faced new superstars, Hurts and his Eagles are hungry to rebound after falling short in their Super Bowl quest. In his first season as a starter, the dual-threat dynamo racked up 25 total touchdowns. In 2022, he posted 35 total TDs. He’s on the rise and a bona fide preseason MVP candidate.
Many believed Tom Brady should’ve won his fourth career MVP in 2021. Instead, Rodgers got MVP No. 4 and the Bucs’ franchise-long MVP drought carried on. It’s unlikely it will end in 2022 as an abundance of roster turnover is at hand following a disappointing 8-9 year. But if a surprising season is in store, why not Evans? Having posted a record nine straight 1,000-yard seasons, Evans has somewhat quietly built a Hall of Fame resume. That written, after historically great seasons by Cooper Kupp (2021) and Justin Jefferson (2022), it’s all the more unlikely.