PHOENIX - In what might have been the easiest grab he's made all season, Odell Beckham Jr. walked away from Saturday night's NFL Honors show with The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
He is the first Giant to win it and only the second in team history to win AP rookie honors (linebacker Lawrence Taylor won it for defense in 1981).
"It really means everything," Beckham said. "To look in the stands and see my mom and dad there, them tearing up and the smile on their face. To know that I made them proud is something that can never be taken away."
Beckham played only 12 games in 2014, missing the first month of the season with a hamstring injury. "Being out that long and not knowing if you are ever going to get healthy was very hard for me," he said. "I fought through it . . . and had a nice little season."
After the Pro Bowl, Beckham said he played most of the season while still nursing the hamstring injury. Nevertheless, he led all rookies with 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. He rushed seven times for 35 yards.
His season will be remembered most for the one-handed catch he made against Dallas on Nov. 23, a play in which he reached back over his head in midair to secure Eli Manning's pass. It was the consensus play of the year and catapulted Beckham to stardom. Suddenly he was dining with LeBron James and texting with Michael Jordan.
"When I first made the catch, I didn't know the magnitude was going to be what it was, taking me to where I am today," Beckham said.
Earlier in January, he was named top rookie by the Pro Football Writers of America. Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was named the Pepsi Offensive Rookie of the Year, an award voted on by fans, which prevented a clean sweep of the three major rookie awards for offense. Even Bridgewater seemed surprised by that.
"If I had to vote," he said in a statement, "I would vote for Odell Beckham."
Rodgers named MVP. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers won his second Associated Press MVP award in four seasons, earning 31 of 50 votes, and Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (13 votes) was an unanimous choice for top defensive honors. Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray was named the top offensive player and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski got the Comeback Player award.
The Cardinals' Bruce Arians took his second Coach of the Year award in three seasons and Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles -- the Jets' new head coach -- won the first Assistant Coach of the Year award. "I wouldn't be head coach of the year if it wasn't for him and the job he did," Arians said. "I'm so happy that we started that award and he got it for the first time. Now he's going to do a great job for the Jets." -- AP