With Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hosting this year's ESPYS along with fellow Seattle sports stars Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe, we at Seahawks.com decided to hand out some Seahawks-specific awards for the last year. You can watch the real ESPYS on ESPN on June 21 at 6 p.m. PT, but while you wait to see three of Seattle sports' biggest stars host, vote on the Seahawks ESPYS below.
Here are your nominees:
Best Offensive Player
Wilson played at an MVP level and was named second-team All-Pro, while his top target, Lockett, put up career-best numbers despite playing through serious illness and a leg contusion that required hospitalization. Carson posted a career-best 1,230 rushing yards, 1,496 total yards and nine touchdowns. Brown toughed it out through multiple injuries and continued to play left tackle at an elite level in his 12th season, and also provided valuable leadership on offense.
Best Defensive Player
Wagner recorded a league-high 159 tackles and was named first-team All-Pro, while fellow linebacker Wright bounced back from an injury-plagued 2018 season to start all 16 games in 2019, recording career-highs in tackles (132) and interceptions (3). Griffin earned Pro-Bowl honors for the first time in his three-year career, and Clowney proved to be a disruptive force, most notably in an NFC Defensive Player of the Week Award-winning performance at San Francisco.
Yes, the Seahawks had some exciting losses as well, most notably in Week 17, but we're sticking with victories for this category. Seattle's Week 5 win over the Rams not only featured one of the best throws and catches of the season, but also featured four second-half lead changes, huge performances by Wilson and Carson, and a rare late-game miss from usually reliable Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein, who had already made three field goals earlier in the game. The Seahawks needed to overcome an early two-touchdown deficit in Week 9, then beat the Bucs in overtime on a Jacob Hollister touchdown, his second of the game. A week later, the Seahawks went to overtime again, handing the 49ers their first loss of the season in a wild, back-and-forth game that ended on a Jason Myers field goal. The Seahawks advanced to the Divisional Round of the playoffs for the seventh time in 10 seasons under Pete Carroll and John Schneider thanks to a low-scoring win over the Eagles that featured a huge performance by rookie DK Metcalf and a great game by the defense.
Wilson's scramble and subsequent touchdown throw to Lockett, who made an insane toe-tap catch in the back of the end zone, might have been the play of the year in the NFL, let alone the Seahawks season, but we'll still throw out a few worthy contenders. Clowney punctuated a huge game against the 49ers by scoring his second touchdown of the season, this one the result of a Jarran Reed sack/forced fumble. Carson scored a physical touchdown on fourth-and-1 late in Seattle's win at Carolina, but his 16-yard first-quarter score showed a little bit of everything that makes the running back so good, from the vision to bounce the run outside, to the agility to make one player miss in the backfield, to the speed to get to the corner, to the power to finish the run by running over a defender at the goal line. Wilson and Metcalf connected on a pair of huge plays in the postseason, the first of which featured Metcalf making a spectacular catch, then having the presence of mind to get back to his feet to score the 54-yard touchdown that gave the Seahawks a two-score lead.
Two of the Seahawks best players were heading into the final year of their previous contracts heading into the 2019 season, but in April Russell Wilson signed a new deal, then that summer Wagner re-upped, assuring that two of Seattle's most important players would be around for the long haul. In Week 2, the Seahawks beat the Steelers on Pete Carroll's birthday, giving him his 100th regular-season win as Seattle's head coach. In the locker room after the game, players drenched their coach in water and Gatorade. Following a Week 15 win Carolina that saw Seattle improve to 11-3, the Seahawks watched on phone screens and tablets from the team plane as the Falcons beat the 49ers, helping Seattle's NFC West chances, and watched Dallas beat the Rams, clinching a postseason berth for Seattle. Carroll announced to a jubilant plane that the Seahawks were playoff bound just after takeoff. Injuries to running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny hurt Seattle's offense, but they did pave the way for a fun late-season story when Marshawn Lynch, who last played for the Seahawks in 2015, re-signed in Week 17 and scored four touchdowns in three games, postseason included, then signed off with one of the more memorable press conferences of his career, urging young players to look out for themselves mentally, physically and financially in his own unique way.
Best Breakout Player
Diggs joined the Seahawks midway through the season and quickly made his presence felt, contributing four takeaways in his first four games, while Green, who only turned 23 last month, led the team in sacks after taking a bigger role in his second season. On offense, Hollister went from the practice squad to start the season to leading Seattle's tight ends in receptions and receiving yards, while Metcalf put up one of the best rookie receiver seasons in franchise history, catching 58 passes for 900 yards and seven touchdowns.
Best Viral Moment
After the Seahawks drafted Metcalf in the second round of the 2019 draft, we were able to share a funny moment from his combine interview when, at the suggestion of Southwest Area Scout Aaron Hineline, Metcalf came into the room shirtless to break the ice. Always the competitor, Carroll surprised everyone in the room by taking off his own shirt. With Seahawks fans all wondering if Wilson would get a contract extension done before a deadline he and his representation had set, he and his wife, Ciara, took to social media after midnight to announce that a deal had been done. Later, Tyler Lockett and D.J. Fluker recreated the scene in a hilarious video of their own that featured Fluker playing the role of Ciara. Wilson went viral again during the season, but not through his own actions. In case you weren't aware, Seahawks twitter can be an odd place, so after @CableThanos_ created a Russell Wilson Baby Yoda image after Baby Yoda became a sensation due to the new Star Wars show, "The Mandalorian," the image quickly took off among Seahawks fans, many of who made it their profile pic. Eventually the Seahawks' official account got in on the action after fans came through with enough RTs. A practice video of Shaquem Griffin playing rock-paper-scissors against Luke Willson took off after Griffin won via the little know rule of nub beats rock.
Best Touchdown Celebration
The 2018 season feature more touchdown celebrations from Seattle's receivers, but there were still some good ones in 2019, most notably an homage to N Sync after a Jaron Brown touchdown catch that even got the approval of the boy band itself. In addition to some creative player celebrations, Seahawks fans made for one of the best touchdown celebrations of the year, showering the field with Skittles after Marshawn Lynch's Week 17 score against the 49ers, his first as a Seahawk since the 2015 season.
Awards handed out before the show
Best Twitter Trash Talker: Quandre Diggs
Best Basketball Player: Whoever you ask, "Who's the best basketball player on the team?"
Most Versatile Hair: Russell Wilson
Best Family Moment: Shaquem Griffin gets his first sack in Seattle's playoff loss at Green Bay; twin brother Shaquill right there to celebrate with him.
Best (or maybe worst?) Revival: Techno Thursday after the signing of Luke Willson.