Before the madness that is free agency broke out, the Pats Pulpit staff started handing out its 2016 New England Patriots awards. Now that the frenzy has died down a little, there is time to go back and revisit aseason that brought the Patriots their fifth Lombardi trophy.
Today’s installment honors the team’s most improved player.
Patriots Most Improved Player of the Year 2016: OT Marcus Cannon
Midseason winner: OT Marcus Cannon
SlotMachinePlayer: OT Marcus Cannon
Marcus Cannon deserves this nod. He looked like he should be cut after last season and he ended up getting All-Pro votes.
Ryan Keiran (@Ryan_Keiran): OT Marcus Cannon
Duh. Turnstile to brick wall, was a key piece in fixing the offensive line this year.
Brian Phillips (@b7phillips): OT Marcus Cannon
Marcus Cannon. Went from being Von Miller's turnstile to 2nd-team All-Pro, and got a contract making him the 4th highest paid at the RT position. An excellent story.
Rich Hill (@pp_rich_hill): OT Marcus Cannon
Cannon was inches away from the cutting entering the season and earned Second Team All Pro distinctions. That's incredible.
MichaelMcD831993 (@MichaelMcD8393): OT Marcus Cannon
Marcus Cannon, went from the chopping block to a foundation piece in less than 10 calendar months.
Oliver Thomas (@OliverBThomas): OT Marcus Cannon
Marcus Cannon runs away with this one. For all the criticism the former backup guard and swing tackle received all the way up through the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Mile High, he deserves this more than anyone.
Matthew Rewinski (@SomeCallMeGoose): OT Marcus Cannon
Marcus Cannon, hands down. The Pats' O-line was ranked a pathetic 25th by Pro Football Focus last season and Von Miller absolutely ate Cannon for breakfast in the conference championship. This year, PFF called him an All-Pro Second Team player - and to hear the coaches tell it, he basically had to re-learn hs technique all over again. All hail Scar and Marcus.
DMooreNFL (@DMooreNFL): OT Marcus Cannon
It was tough because Shaq Mason also deserves a nod here. But considering Cannon went from being a potential cap casualty (which I admit I was on board with at the time) to being voted to the NFL's 2nd All-Pro Team in the course of a year, this is a huge turn-around. Cannon stepped in for Sebastian Vollmer and was arguably the team's best offensive lineman at right tackle.
Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39): OT Marcus Cannon
Marcus Cannon went from one of the most loathed men in Foxborough in 2015 to an elite talent and Second-team All-Pro in 2016. Dante Scarnecchia deserves a ton of credit for capitalizing on Cannon's physical gifts and saving his career, but the right tackle also lost almost 30 lbs over the offseason and showed significantly improved technique. If my words aren't enough to sway you, watch how Cannon acquitted himself against game-wrecker Von Miller in Week 15.
Kirk von Kreisler (@KirkNFL): OT Marcus Cannon
From being projected by many, including me, to be cut in the last offseason to becoming a second-team All Pro, Marcus Cannon had quite the bounceback season. Cannon was easily the best offensive lineman on a solid unit that had struggled mightily a season before, him being a major reason why. Cannon earned himself a nice five-year, $32.5 million contract extension and has become a piece to build upon on this Patriots offensive line. Cannon edged out Trey Flowers for this award in my opinion because of Cannon’s consistent presence from the beginning of the season.
Bernd Buchmasser (@BerndBuchmasser): OT Marcus Cannon
While the rise of Trey Flowers deserves to be mentioned, Cannon is hands down the Patriots' most improved player of 2016 - especially considering his 2015 campaign. Turning from potential cut-candidate to second-team All Pro, the 28-year old has shown why New England sees him as the team's right tackle of the future.
What do you think of Marcus Cannon as the Patriots’ 2016 Most Improved Player of the Year? Let us know in the comments.