ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Pro Football Writers of America Denver chapter announced Thursday that it will recognize Justin Simmons and Teddy Bridgewater as the recipients of its annual team awards. Bridgewater is the winner of the 2021 Darrent Williams Good Guy Award, while Simmons was selected for a new annual team MVP award in memory of late Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas.
The new award, which is voted on by local media, is given to the player who best exhibits Thomas' impact on and off the field in honor of his legacy. Thomas, who passed away tragically in December at the age of 33, was a five-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl 50 champion.
"The PFWA's Denver chapter has also, as of this season, started what will be Demaryius Thomas Team MVP Award in honor of Thomas' career with the Broncos, his impact on the team and the community during his time in Denver," ESPN Senior Writer and former PFWA President Jeff Legwold said. "Those who played alongside Thomas said it would be a fitting honor to both remember D.T. as well as honor the best on-field performance in the coming seasons. Justin Simmons was a deserving and fitting choice as the first winner."
In his sixth NFL season, Simmons has had a career year as he's led Denver's third-ranked scoring defense. Through 16 games, his five interceptions and four tackles for loss tie career highs, and he has 12 passes defensed, 1.5 sacks and two quarterback hits.
Bridgewater, cornerback Pat Surtain II and running back Javonte Williams also received votes for the honor.
Bridgewater is the recipient of the 15th annual Darrent Williams Good Guy Award and the 12th different player to win. Bridgewater is the first offensive player to win the award since its establishment in 2007.
The award, which was created in memory of former Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams after his death on Jan. 1, 2007, is given annually to a player selected for their enthusiasm, cooperation and honesty in working with the media.
"The Darrent Williams Good Guy Award has always been one to honor accountability and professionalism, two things that Darrent, without fail, showed in his career," Legwold said. "Teddy Bridgewater — the first Broncos player from the team's offense to have been selected for the award — showed plenty of both in another season impacted by COVID-19 off the field for the team as well as struggles on it. He was consistently cited in the voting for his forthright approach and thoughtful responses."
Simmons, guard Dalton Risner and tackle Garett Bolles also received significant consideration for the award.
All-Time Darrent Williams Good Guy Award Winners
|2013||Chris Harris Jr.|
|2018||Chris Harris Jr.|