NFL News of January 1, 2003

The Associated Press announced Wednesday that Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon is the recipient of its Most Valuable Player award for the 2002 regular season.

Gannon received 19 votes from a nationwide panel of 48 NFL sportswriters and broadcasters.

“Without question, he is deserving of this award and it truly validates him as one of the great players in the NFL,” Raiders coach Bill Callahan said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

Gannon, 37, certainly played as well or better than any quarterback this season. He passed for a league-best 4,689 yards, completed 67.6 percent of his passes, threw 26 touchdown passes and engineered the league’s top-ranked offense.

He finished well ahead of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair, Kansas City Chiefs running back Priest Holmes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. No one else received a vote.

…Gannon went out of his way to thank coaches, teammates and everybody else associated with the Raiders.

— Steve Corkran, Contra Costa Times “It’s official: Gannon named NFL MVP”

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