Gronk, Cam, or Big Ben? Who will take down the 2020 CPOY? When the New England Patriots signed Cam Newton, his odds for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year shot up from 10/1 to 9/2 (or +450), according to an update from William Hill. ‘Big’ Ben Roethlisberger and Rob Gronkowski are the current co-favorites at 7/2 odds (or +350) to win the Comeback Player of the Year.
Newton missed 14 games last season due to a foot injury. A hobbled Newton saw his days numbered when the team opted to make Christian McCaffrey the main focal point of the offense and the Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to a lucrative three-year deal.
Gronkowski saw his name jump to the top of the CPOY list when the ex-New England Patriots TE came out of retirement to join Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gronk made the most of his year in retirement with a stint on “The Masked Singer” reality show as the White Tiger. He also had a short-lived career as a pro wrestler with the WWE.
NFL 2020 COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Ben Roethlisberger +350
Rob Gronkowski +350
Cam Newton +450
JJ Watt +600
Matthew Stafford +700
AJ Green +800
Nick Foles +1200
Alex Smith +1200
Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers QB, missed almost the entire 2019 season after he blew out his arm in the second game of the season. Big Ben required season-ending elbow surgery and missed 14 games.
Before Gronk unretired and way before the Patriots signed Newton, Big Ben was the clear-cut favorite to win the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year.
JJ Watt Back on Track
JJ Watt, a DE from the Houston Texans, is the lone defensive player on the short-list of 2020 Comeback Player of the Year possibilities.
Watt missed half the 2019 season with a torn pectoral, which he suffered during games against the Oakland Raiders.
Watt played a full slate of games in 2018 and recorded 16 sacks. He appeared in only eight games between 2016 and 2017, and missed a significant amount of time due to numerous injuries.
If Watt can play a full season, the Texans will be a tough opponent with him in the lineup. Watt alters the dynamics of the game whenever he’s on the field.
Nick Foles and Alex Smith
Alex Smith, QB from the Washington Redskins, suffered a near-fatal compound leg fracture in 2018. ESPN chronicled the precarious situation when his leg became infected and doctors told him to amputate it. The tough Smith refused to let doctors remove his diseased limb because he still had hopes of returning to the NFL.
Smith’s status is still a question mark, but the fact that he’s on the list is a testament to his inner strength and dedication. If there’s one player in the league that everyone is rooting for, it’s Smith.
Nick Foles signed a hefty free-agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars last offseason after his heroic exploits leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl win as a backup quarterback. Both Foles and the Jaguars incurred a wicked bad beat when Foles broke his clavicle on the opening series of the first game of the 2019 season. Rookie Gardner Minshew from Washington State took over and quickly won the hearts and minds of fans all over the league. The Jags decided to stick with Minshew and traded Foles to the Chicago Bears.
The Bears had a breakout season in 2018, but they were awful in 2019. The team moved on from its failed Mitch Trubisky experiment and went all-in on Foles. The Monsters of Midway hope that Foles can unleash his postseason magic at Soldiers Field.
Other players not mentioned in our list include three players on new teams: Todd Gurley (Atlanta Falcons), Phil Rivers (Indianapolis Colts), and David Johnson (Houston Texans).