As the 2022 NFL regular season concludes, there are a number of awards and honors that are bestowed on players from various sources. For the first time ever, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) selected their own All-Pro Team. On the list of players selected is Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Here is the inaugural Players’ All-Pro Team, via the NFL Players Association: pic.twitter.com/KyeqjecgEG— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 11, 2023
For the NFLPA All-Pro Team, there are specific criteria for voting and eligibility as laid out on the NFLPA website:
Here are the rules that differentiate us from anyone else:
Only active NFL players can vote and they get only one vote.
If a player missed five or more games as of Week 15, then they are ineligible. This is to ensure that we are choosing the best players who had the most impact this season. Being available counts.
Players cannot vote for themselves or for their own teammates
Players vote for the position group they play in and line up against.
For example, centers can vote for:
The best Center in the league
The best nose tackle in the league
The best Interior defensive lineman in the league
The best off-ball linebacker in the league
We had each various player leaders from each team nominate their two best special teams players (or “core teamers”) for the ballot. We wanted the locker rooms to decide who should represent their team in that position.
With the NFLPA now doing their own All-Pro Team, it just throws a little bit more disparity into which system is actually recognized. Typically, it is the aAll-Pro Team selected by the Associated Press (AP) that determines whether or not a player is All-Pro in regards to contract incentives, but other outlets do All-Pro Team as well such as the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and Sporting News.
When it comes to Minkah Fitzpatrick, he finished the 2022 season tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with six. Fitzpatrick was second on the Steelers this season with 96 tackles only behind Myles Jack who had 104. Fitzpatrick returned one of his interceptions for a touchdown and also tallied 11 past defenses on the season.
For those who may be curious, a player such as T.J. Watt, who was selected to the Pro Bowl for the 2022 season, was not eligible for selection as he missed more than five games as outlined in the criteria above.
On behalf of BTSC, congratulations to Minkah Fitzpatrick on what should be the first of many accolades coming his way this offseason.