NFL Honors 2023: League creates rushing award in Jim Brown’s honor; Raiders’ Josh Jacobs inaugural winner –

Jim Brown led the NFL in rushing eight times during his nine-year NFL career. From now on, the player who leads the league in rushing will receive a trophy named in Browns’ honor. 

With Brown in attendance, Hall of Fame running backs Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders announced during NFL Honors that each rushing champion will now be given the Jim Brown Award. Josh Jacobs is the first recipient of the Jim Brown Award after rushing for 1,653 yards this past season. 

“It is a true honor to be named as the first recipient of the Jim Brown Award,” Jacobs said. “Jim’s excellence on the football field was unparalleled and his role as a leader off the field showed his unwavering strength and commitment to the community. Jim’s impact can be felt today and his legacy continues through everyone that strives to make a difference. I am beyond proud to receive an award named for such a great man.”

“If you truly want to define the position, it starts and ends with a guy by the name of Jim Brown.” 🐐

📺: #NFLHonors on NBC & NFLN

— Cleveland Browns (@Browns)

The only running back to average 100 rushing yards per game for his career, Brown’s carry tally of 12,306 rushing yards stood as the NFL record until it was broken by Walter Payton in 1984. Brown, who starred for the Browns from 1957-65, led the Browns to their last NFL title in 1965. 

“It’s hard to think of a player who has impacted the game and society as much as Jim Brown,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “His legendary accomplishments on the field were matched or exceeded only by his lifelong dedication to many off the field initiatives, including social justice issues, which have inspired generations of players that have followed him. 

“I saw first-hand the high regard players have for Jim a few years ago while attending a meeting with current players. The room was loud…until Jim entered.  Then the room instantly grew silent, which was every attendee’s way of paying respect to one of the greatest players of all time. This award is our way of ensuring that recognition of Jim’s impact on the NFL and society continues forever.”

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