The Defensive Rookie of the Year award handed out annually by the Associated Press has been in the news lately because its recipient Brian Cushing was just suspended after failing a test for performance enhancing drugs, and then losing his appeal.
The test, reportedly taken last September, suggests Cushing played 2009 while benefitting from a cycle of PEDs that are banned by the NFL.
So the AP yesterday decided to have a revote. The 50 people who vote annually on the AP All-Pro team and post-season awards got an e-mail ballot that is due Wednesday. I am one of those voters. I had no trouble re-submitting my ballot.
I orginally picked Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd as my DROY choice and was only one of six people to do so. Cushing got 39 votes. I simply stuck with my original vote.
The AP also took a revote on the outside linebacker position. In that one, I had to make a change. I had originally voted for Cushing and Elvis Dumervil. In my new ballot I changed out Cushing for DeMarcus Ware, who was an All-Pro selection even without my original vote.
So here is the question: Do you, as fans, believe a positive drug test can rightfully cost a player a post-season award because his performance was enhanced by a drug?
I obviously do think the award deserved a revote. And I'll live with the results of the majority. But I have a bad taste about giving any award to someone who gains it by cheating.
The reason I'm blogging this is that someone following me on twitter wanted me to vote for Vontae Davis or Sean Smith for DROY. Now, I have no problem voting for local guys. In fact, I feel I know them best as I've watched all their games.
That's the reason I voted for Tony Sparano as coach of the year in 2008 (he didn't win) and voted for Jake Long for All-Pro last year (he got it).
But Vontae Davis or Sean Smith for DROY?
I believe both played well at times. I believe both made strides. I believe both will continue to improve and become better players. But both also had moments in which they struggled.
Davis was beaten deep a handful of times. Smith's coverage was not always as tight as one would want and he didn't have any interceptions. In defending Gibril Wilson at the Indianapolis Combine, general manager Jeff Ireland laid some of the blame for the lapses in the secondary on the rookies.
Byrd, meanwhile, had nine interceptions. No, he wasn't Ronnie Lott in run-support. But which one of you wouldn't have taken nine interceptions from your free safety last year?
So I cast my vote. I'm sticking with it.