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NFL Press Release
To permanently honor the impact of Jim Brown on the NFL, the player with the most rushing yards each season will be presented with the "Jim Brown Award," the NFL announced Thursday during “NFL Honors,” the league's primetime awards show.
"It's hard to think of a player who has impacted the game and society as much as Jim Brown," Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "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."
Brown was a star from the moment he set foot on an NFL field in 1957 until his retirement in 1965 at the peak of his career after nine NFL seasons. He led the NFL in rushing eight times, amassing a then NFL-record 12,312 career rushing yards, a total that stood as the NFL best for nearly 20 years, until Walter Payton surpassed the mark in 1984. Brown played in nine Pro Bowls, was named MVP three times, and was one of only four offensive players named to the NFL's 50th, 75th and 100th anniversary teams. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
The inaugural winner of the Jim Brown Award is Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, who rushed for 1,653 yards in 2022.
"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."