The Bert Bell Award

THE BEST PLAYER IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE


2019 Bert Bell Award Winner:  Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson, who won the Maxwell Award in 2016, had a recording breaking NFL season during 2019.  Jackson won the NFL MVP award after leading the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns.  Jackson also recorded 1,206 rushing yards, which broke the previous QB Rushing Yards record set by Michael Vick.  Lamar is currently the #1 rated NFL player on the NFL’s Top 100 list, and is the cover athlete for Madden 21.

Bert Bell Award Quick Facts

The Bert Bell Award is presented to the best player in the National Football League.


  • The award is named after Bert Bell, a Philadelphia native who worked as a college football coach after serving his country in World War I
  • He led a partnership to purchase the Frankford Yellowjackets – which he re-named the Philadelphia Eagles in 1933
  • He served as NFL commissioner from 1946 until his passing in 1959
  • He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963
  • Bert Bell is the founder of The Maxwell Football Club
  • The Bert Bell Award was founded in 1959

Won it More Than Once

Peyton Manning (2003, 2004, 2013)
Adrian Peterson (2008, 2012)
Rich Gannon (2000, 2002)
Brett Favre (1995, 1996)
Steve Young (1992, 1994)
Randall Cunningham (1988, 1990, 1998)
John Unitas (1959, 1964, 1967)

Won the Bert Bell AND Maxwell Awards

Peyton Manning
Drew Brees
Barry Sanders
Roger Staubach
OJ Simpson

Bert Bell Award Recipients

Since 1959

  • 2019 - Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
  • 2018 - Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
  • 2017 - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 2016 - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
  • 2015 - Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
  • 2014 - J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
  • 2013 - Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
  • 2012 - Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
  • 2011 - Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
  • 2010 - Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 2009 - Drew Brees##, New Orleans Saints
  • 2008 - Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
  • 2007 - Tom Brady, New England Patriots
  • 2006 - LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers
  • 2005 - Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks
  • 2004 - Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
  • 2003 - Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
  • 2002 - Rich Gannon, Oakland Raiders
  • 2001 - Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams
  • 2000 - Rich Gannon, Oakland Raiders
  • 1999 - Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams
  • 1998 - Randall Cunningham, Minnesota Vikings
  • 1997 - Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions
  • 1996 - Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
  • 1995 - Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
  • 1994 - Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers
  • 1993 - Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys
  • 1992 - Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers
  • 1991 - Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions
  • 1990 - Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 1989 - Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers
  • 1988 - Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 1987 - Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers
  • 1986 - Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants
  • 1985 - Walter Payton, Chicago Bears
  • 1984 - Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins
  • 1983 - John Riggins, Washington Redskins
  • 1982 - Joe Theisman, Washington Redskins
  • 1981 - Ken Anderson, Cincinnati Bengels
  • 1980 - Ron Jaworski, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 1979 - Earl Campbell, Houston Oils
  • 1978 - Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 1977 - Bob Griese, Miami Dolphins
  • 1976 - Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders
  • 1975 - Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings
  • 1974 - Merlin Olsen*, Los Angeles Rams
  • 1973 - O.J. Simpson, Buffalo Bills
  • 1972 - Larry Brown, Washington Redskins
  • 1971 - Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys
  • 1970 - George Blanda, Oakland Raiders
  • 1969 - Roman Gabriel, Los Angeles Rams
  • 1968 LeRoy Kelly, Cleveland Browns
  • 1967 - John Unitas, Baltimore Colts
  • 1966 - Don Meredith, Dallas Cowboys
  • 1965 - Pete Retzlaff, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 1964 - John Unitas, Baltimore Colts
  • 1963 - Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns
  • 1962 - Andy Robustelli, New York Giants
  • 1961 - Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers 
  • 1960 - Norman Van Brocklin, Philadelphia Eagles
  • 1959 - John Unitas, Baltimore Colts