10 biggest award snubs in NFL history

This season is one of the most contentious MVP races in recent memory. There will be some fans who will be mad, but their complaints will pale in comparison to these NFL Awards snubs.

San Francisco 49ers receiver #80 JERRY RICE
San Francisco 49ers receiver #80 JERRY RICE / Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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4. 2001 Offensive Rookie of the Year
Winner: Anthony Thomas
Snub: LaDainian Tomlinson

There are more than a dozen Rookie of the Year award winners who look terrible in hindsight. Peter Boulware won it over Jason Taylor. Robert Griffin III beat out Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. Mark Carrier beat out Junior Seau. However, this is an award for that year only, so we can't take into account the careers of the players. Yet, this one was wrong then and now.

LaDainian Tomlinson and Anthony Thomas looked like the next two great running backs in the league. The pick for Tomlinson came to the San Diego Chargers in the trade that sent the first-overall pick to Atlanta for Michael Vick. Many would argue this alone wins the trade for the Chargers. That's not the argument here. We're looking at Thomas vs. Tomlinson.

They had very similar stats, but Tomlinson had edges almost everywhere. Tomlinson had 50 more yards rushing, close to 200 more yards receiving, and three more rushing touchdowns. He did play two more games than Thomas, but as they say, the best ability is availability.

The Bears and Chargers were on different sides of the NFL standings. Chicago won 13 games in 2001. San Diego won five. The importance of what Thomas was doing likely led to his award win, but that's not what the Offensive Rookie of the Year is about. It's supposed to go to the best rookie, and that was Tomlinson. That ended up being true, as Thomas wasn't a starter three years later, and Tomlinson became a Hall of Famer.