INGLEWOOD, Calif. – At the rate he was producing, it seemed inevitable.
Now, it's official.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is the 2021 AP Offensive Player of the Year, it was announced during Thursday night's NFL Honors ceremony at SoFi Stadium.
"Just incredibly thankful," Kupp said during a video conference Thursday night following his acceptance speech. "Especially the position I play, this is a team award."
Kupp ended the first season of the 17-game era with a league-leading 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns while starting in every game, becoming the fourth receiving "triple crown" winner of the NFL's modern era alongside Jerry Rice (1990), Sterling Sharpe (1992) and Steve Smith (2005).
All told, that production set new franchise single-season receptions and receiving yards records, breaking the ones both held by Isaac Bruce since 1995. Kupp was also just five receptions shy of breaking Michael Thomas' corresponding NFL single-season record, 18 receiving yards shy of breaking Calvin Johnson's corresponding NFL single-season record, and one touchdown shy of tying Elroy Hirsch's corresponding franchise single-season record.
For Kupp, it was due in large part to the support of his family.
"I truly believe this would not be possible without my family, without my wife, without my boys, without the support system that I have behind me," Kupp said. "I'm just so incredibly thankful for them and for their willingness to sacrifice to allow me to play this game with the respect that it demands."
Kupp is the fourth Rams player to win the award since its inception in 1972, joining running back Eric Dickerson (1986), running back Marshall Faulk (1999, 2000, 2001), and running back Todd Gurley (2017). He is also the third wide receiver ever to win the award in its history, joining Jerry Rice (1987, 1993) and Michael Thomas (2019).
Kupp adds this award to being named the PFWA 2021 Offensive Player of the Year, 101 Awards NFC Offensive Player of the Year, a unanimous First Team All-Pro selection, and landing on the PFWA's All-NFL and All-NFC teams.