The Best NFL Player ESPY Award has been presented annually since 1993 to the National Football League player adjudged to be the best in a given calendar year, namely in the NFL season immediately precedent to the holding of the ESPY Awards ceremony.
Between 1993 and 2004, the award voting panel comprised variously fans; sportswriters and broadcasters, sports executives, and retired sportspersons, termed collectively experts; but balloting thereafter has been exclusively by fans over the Internet from amongst choices selected by the ESPN Select Nominating Committee.
Through the 2001 iteration of the ESPY Awards, ceremonies were conducted in February of each year to honor achievements over the previous calendar year; awards presented thereafter are conferred in June and reflect performance from the June previous.
In 2014, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos became the first 3-time winner breaking a tie with Barry Sanders, Brett Favre, Marshall Faulk. Aaron Rodgers would later surpass him in 2017 when he won his fourth. The award wasn't awarded in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aaron Rodgers has won four awards, the most.
Six players – quarterbacks Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and running backs Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, and Marshall Faulk—have won the award twice; each save Sanders was a back-to-back honoree.
Player was a member of the winning team in the Super Bowl.
Player was a member of the losing team in the Super Bowl.
* NFL MVP
† Super Bowl MVP
|Year||Player||Team represented||Position played|
|1993||Emmitt Smith||Dallas Cowboys||Running back|
|1994||Emmitt Smith*†||Dallas Cowboys||Running back|
|1995||Barry Sanders||Detroit Lions||Running back|
|1996||Brett Favre*||Green Bay Packers||Quarterback|
|1997||Brett Favre*||Green Bay Packers||Quarterback|
|1998||Barry Sanders||Detroit Lions||Running back|
|1999||Terrell Davis*||Denver Broncos||Running back|
|2000||Kurt Warner*†||St. Louis Rams||Quarterback|
|2001||Marshall Faulk*||St. Louis Rams||Running back|
|2002||Marshall Faulk||St. Louis Rams||Running back|
|2003||Michael Vick||Atlanta Falcons||Quarterback|
|2004||Peyton Manning*||Indianapolis Colts||Quarterback|
|2005||Peyton Manning*||Indianapolis Colts||Quarterback|
|2006||Shaun Alexander*||Seattle Seahawks||Running back|
|2007||LaDainian Tomlinson*||San Diego Chargers||Running back|
|2008||Tom Brady*||New England Patriots||Quarterback|
|2009||Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona Cardinals||Wide receiver|
|2010||Drew Brees †||New Orleans Saints||Quarterback|
|2011||Aaron Rodgers†||Green Bay Packers||Quarterback|
|2012||Aaron Rodgers*||Green Bay Packers||Quarterback|
|2013||Adrian Peterson*||Minnesota Vikings||Running back|
|2014||Peyton Manning*||Denver Broncos||Quarterback|
|2015||Aaron Rodgers*||Green Bay Packers||Quarterback|
|2016||Cam Newton*||Carolina Panthers||Quarterback|
|2017||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||Quarterback|
|2018||Tom Brady*||New England Patriots||Quarterback|
|2019||Patrick Mahomes*||Kansas City Chiefs||Quarterback|
|2020||Not awarded due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|Ranking||Player||Position||Team||Number of Awards||Years|
|1||Aaron Rodgers||QB||Green Bay Packers||4||2011, 2012, 2015, 2017|
|2||Peyton Manning||QB||Indianapolis Colts/Denver Broncos||3||2004, 2005, 2014|
|3||Emmitt Smith||RB||Dallas Cowboys||2||1993, 1994|
|Brett Favre||QB||Green Bay Packers||2||1996, 1997|
|Barry Sanders||RB||Detroit Lions||2||1995, 1998|
|Marshall Faulk||RB||St. Louis Rams||2||2001, 2002|
|Tom Brady||QB||New England Patriots||2||2008, 2018|