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McCourty Candidate for Pepsi Rookie of the Year

The National Football League today announced the five finalists for the 2010 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR award.

Fans can vote for one of these five players on through 9:00 PM EST on Tuesday, February 1 to determine the 2010 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR.


St. Louis Rams

Cleveland Browns

New England Patriots

Defensive Tackle
Detroit Lions

Wide Receiver
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The winner will be presented the 2010 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR award during a press conference in North Texas, the site of Super Bowl XLV, on Thursday, February 3.

The five finalists were selected for their outstanding performances throughout the 2010 NFL season. Each week, five nominees were chosen for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL fans voted for the winner on Those results were used to help determine the finalists. Fans who cast their vote were also eligible to enter the 2010 Pepsi Max Rookie of the Year Sweepstakes which will send one winner to Super Bowl XLV to announce the 2010 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.

A closer look at the finalists:

SAM BRADFORD (St. Louis Rams) -- Bradford set NFL rookie records for completions (354) and attempts (590), and his 3,512 passing yards in 2010 are the second most by a rookie in NFL history, trailing only Peyton Manning's 3,739 in 1998. Bradford's 18 touchdowns are tied for fifth most among rookies in NFL history. During a midseason stretch, Bradford set an NFL rookie record with 169 consecutive attempts without an interception. The former Heisman Trophy winner led the Rams to seven wins. Bradford, who attended the University of Oklahoma, was nominated for five Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week awards, winning twice.

JOE HADEN (Cleveland Browns) -- Haden finished the year with 64 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and six interceptions that were tied for fifth in the NFL and were the second-most by a rookie. He led the Browns with 18 pass break-ups. His six interceptions were the most by a Brown since 2007 and the most by a Browns rookie since 2001. In weeks 10-13, he became the first Brown to record an interception in four straight games since Ernie Kellerman in 1968. Haden, who attended the University of Florida, was nominated for three Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week awards.

DEVIN McCOURTY (New England Patriots) -- McCourty started all 16 games and finished the season with 82 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles and 17 passes defensed. He tied for second in the NFL and led all rookies with seven interceptions on the season, recording four of them over three consecutive games (Weeks 11-13). The seven interceptions by a Patriots rookie are second only to the eight by Mike Haynes in 1976. McCourty, who attended Rutgers University, was nominated for two Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week awards.

NDAMUKONG SUH (Detroit Lions) -- Suh led the Lions, NFL rookies and all defensive tackles with 10.0 sacks and recorded 66 tackles, three passes defensed, one forced fumble, one interception and one fumble returned for a touchdown. Suh became the second rookie defensive tackle in NFL history to record 10.0 sacks. He also was the only rookie in the NFL to record a sack, an interception and a fumble return for a touchdown this season. He was selected to the 2011 NFC Pro Bowl team as a starter. Suh, who attended the University of Nebraska, was nominated for four Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week awards, winning once.
MIKE WILLIAMS (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) -- Williams finished the year with 65 receptions for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns helping the Buccaneers reach a 10-6 record. Among rookie receivers, Williams finished first in all major categories. He became the first rookie to have 10 touchdown receptions since Randy Moss in 1998. Williams was the only rookie receiver to have a reception in each of his team's games this season and he finished tied for the 11th-most receiving yards in the NFC. Williams, who attended Syracuse University, was nominated for five Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week awards.

This is Pepsi's ninth year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the ninth year that Pepsi is presenting the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year awards.

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