Tom Brady reveals who he thinks should be 2023 NFL MVP favorite

Tom Brady reveals who he thinks should be 2023 NFL MVP favorite originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2023 NFL MVP debate is about to heat up in a major way, and the top two candidates might be on the same team.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is the betting favorite at many sportsbooks. He is having a fantastic season for a 49ers team that sits atop the NFC standings with a 11-3 record. Purdy has completed 69.8 percent of his passes for 3,795 yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The most deserving candidate might actually be one of his teammates.

49ers running back Christian McCaffrey is having a phenomenal campaign of his own. He leads the league with 1,292 rushing yards -- 324 more than any other player -- with 13 touchdowns. He also is making a tremendous impact as a pass-catcher out of the backfield with 57 receptions for 509 yards and seven receiving touchdowns.

Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won league MVP three times (2007, 2010, 2017). On the latest episode of his podcast titled "Let's Go!", the future Hall of Famer made his case for McCaffrey as the MVP favorite.

“I remember the first time I actually got a glimpse of Christian was in the Rose Bowl,” Brady said. “He caught an angle pass against Iowa and ran for about a 75-yard touchdown. I was like, ‘Well, they’re not gonna catch him.’ He was a dynamic player then. He is a dynamic player now, and I think all of what he’s done this year is a lot of what he’s done in the past. It’s a different team with some different opportunities and they’ve been really dynamic on offense.

“So he is definitely in my mind the MVP favorite and according to his quarterback too, Brock Purdy, who says some amazing things about him... And I know you’ll say, because you’re a great team player, the Super Bowl is the only thing that really matters. With the offseason that the running backs have, do you kind of feel like an award like that would be pretty nice?”

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McCaffrey has the stats worthy of winning MVP, but history is not on his side. Quarterbacks have dominated this award. Brady won three times in 2007, 2010 and 2017.

The last non-QB to win MVP was Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in 2012. He is one of only five non-QBs to win MVP this century:

  • 2000: Marshall Faulk, RB, Rams

  • 2005: Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks

  • 2006: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers

  • 2012: Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings

McCaffrey not winning MVP might be a good outcome for the 49ers when you consider that only once this century has a player won league MVP and the Super Bowl in the same season. It was Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes last season.

It'll be fascinating to watch the MVP race play out. The lack of a dominant quarterback gives McCaffrey a real chance if he finishes strong over the final three regular season games.