Saints quarterback Drew Brees is up for a fifth FedEx Air Player of the Year Award after being nominated for the honor on Monday. He’s up against Denver’s Peyton Manning and San Diego’s Philip Rivers.
Brees helped the Saints reach an 11-5 regular-season record this year, throwing 39 touchdowns and a dozen interceptions while completing 68.6 percent of his passes for 5,162 yards. He posted his third consecutive season — the fourth overall — with 5,000 or more yards passing, and he is the only player in NFL history to have more than one of those years.
Brees was nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week nine times this season, and he won five of them. He earned selection to the 2014 Pro Bowl, the eighth of his career and seventh with the Saints, who won a wildcard playoff game at Philadelphia on Saturday.
Manning this year set records in touchdown passes (55) and passing yardage (5,477, beating the mark Brees set in 2011 by one yard). He helped the Broncos (13-3) clinch the top seed for the AFC playoffs.
Rivers threw the fourth-most TDs in the NFL (32) and led the Chargers to a 9-7 record. They won a wildcard playoff game in Cincinnati on Sunday.
FedEx will donate $25,000 to a Junior Achievement chapter in the award winner’s city.
Fans can vote on the award at NFL.com/fedex until Jan. 24. The league will announce the winner at the third annual “NFL Honors” awards show, which will air on Fox in primetime Feb. 1, the night before Super Bowl XLVIII.
Millions make history by watching Saints make history: Some 34.4 million people watched the Saints win the first true road playoff game of their 47-year history by beating Philadelphia 26-24 on Saturday.
That was the most-watched wildcard game on a Saturday ever, according to the NFL.
Saints sign “futures” prospect: The Saints on Monday signed tackle Ty Nsekhe to a futures/reserve contract.
Nsekhe, undrafted out of Texas State, played arena football from 2009 to 2012 before trying out for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams. He made neither team but spent much of the 2012 season on the Rams practice squad.
He was waived with an undisclosed injury this preseason.
Regrettably for Nsekhe, he is perhaps best known for a tweet he published in September in which he suggested that NFL players are more skilled than members of the military and therefore deserve to be paid more. He soon apologized, saying he recognized the sacrifices members of the armed forces make so that Americans can enjoy freedoms.