The Pro Football Writers Association on Wednesday recognized Stephon Gilmore as its NFL Defensive Player of the Year for 2019.
The New England Patriots cornerback cemented his status as the league’s premier cover man this season, ranking first in passes defended (20) and tied for first in interceptions (six), including two pick-sixes.
Typically tasked with covering each opponent’s No. 1 receiver, Gilmore allowed just one touchdown in 17 games — including New England’s wild-card round loss to the Tennessee Titans — and surrendered more than 55 receiving yards just twice, according to Pro Football Focus.
Gilmore is the first Patriots player to win this award and just the third cornerback to do so since PFWA members began voting in 1992, joining Charles Woodson (2009) and Deion Sanders (1994). He also earned a 2020 Pro Bowl selection and spots on the Associated Press’ All-Pro and the PWFA’s All-NFL teams.
The AP Defensive Player of the Year will be announced at the NFL Honors ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 1, the night before Super Bowl LIV. The same player has taken home both awards in 22 of the last 25 years.