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T.J. Watt named a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, Joey Porter Jr. for DROY

Linebacker T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a sack against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

It’s #AwardsSZN here in the NFL, as accolades have begun to roll in following the conclusion of the 2023-24 NFL regular season. Heading into the 2024 AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, finalists for the Associated Press’ 2023 season awards have officially been announced.

With that, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt and rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. still in the mix for 2023 AP Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year, respectively. They each join the list of four other finalists for their respective awards, which will be handed out during the NFL Honors Ceremony, which will take place February 8, 2024 at 9 p.m. ET.

The Defensive Player of the Year award has been a hotly contested discussion this year, with the debate between the candidacies of AFC North Rivals T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns being the hottest-button topic. Watt and Garrett were both named First Team All-Pro earlier this month, with other organizations having been split in their awarding of “Defensive Player of the Year” accolades.

While Garrett was named Defensive Player of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), Watt was named DPOY by the 101 Committee earlier this week for the third time in his career.

Still... as Steelers Communications Manager Michael Pertsch shares, the difference between Watt and Garrett from a productivity standpoint this season isn’t very debatable.

Here’s a look at the full list of finalists for 2023 Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year.

AP Defensive Player of the Year finalists

AP Defensive Rookie of the Year finalists