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49ers teammates vote Purdy winner of prestigious Len Eshmont Award

49ers teammates vote Purdy winner of prestigious Len Eshmont Award originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

In his first full season as the 49ers’ starting quarterback, Brock Purdy certainly has earned the respect and admiration of San Francisco’s locker room.

Purdy’s teammates voted him as the winner of the Len Eshmont Award, the 49ers announced Tuesday. It’s an honor given to the 49er who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of its namesake, and is considered the most prestigious team honor on which players vote.

As the 49ers cleared out their lockers in Santa Clara, coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Purdy had an “unbelievable” campaign after finishing the 2023 NFL regular season as the franchise passing yards record-holder and leading San Francisco to Super Bowl LVIII.

While the 49ers came up short against the Kansas City Chiefs, Purdy’s comeback from a torn UCL last January to NFC champion was a miraculous effort by the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

“But I mean, players voted him as our Len Eshmont award winner,” Shanahan told reporters Tuesday. “So, that says what those guys thought about him. And we’re excited about Brock.”

In addition to Purdy, the 49ers announced a handful of other team award recipients:

Bill Walsh Award: RB Christian McCaffrey

The Bill Walsh Award was established in 2004 in honor of San Francisco’s Hall of Fame coach. The award, which is voted on by the coaching staff, is given to the 49er who has best represented the standard of professional excellence established by Walsh.

Bobb McKittrick Award: OL Colton McKivitz

The Bobb McKittrick Award is given annually to the 49ers offensive lineman who best represents the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime offensive line coach. The award was established by the 49ers in 1999 and is voted on by the offensive line.

Hazeltine Iron Man Award: LB Fred Warner

The Hazeltine Iron Man Award is named for former linebacker Matt Hazeltine, who played more seasons at linebacker than any other 49ers player with 13 seasons. After Hazeltine passed away in 1987 from ALS, Bill Walsh established the award in his honor that year. The award is given annually to the most courageous and inspirational defensive player and is voted upon by the defensive coaches.

Thomas Herrion Memorial Award: S Ji’Ayir Brown

The Thomas Herrion Memorial Award was established in 2005 by 49ers owners Denise and John York and is presented to a rookie or first-year player who best represents the dream of Thomas Herrion. The award is voted on by the coaches and is given to the player who has taken advantage of every opportunity, turned it into a positive situation and made their dream turn into a reality.

Ed Block Courage Award: DT Javon Kinlaw

The Ed Block Courage Award is named after Ed Block and presented in his name each year to the player that exemplified a commitment to sportsmanship and courage. The former head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts was a respected humanitarian whose most passionate cause was helping children of abuse. Ed Block Courage Award winners from each of the 32 NFL teams are honored at a banquet in Baltimore, MD., and all proceeds from the event benefit the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation’s Courage House National Support Network.

Perry/Yonamine Unity Award: TE George Kittle

The Perry/Yonamine Award is presented to the 49ers player who exhibits an exceptional commitment to promoting unity within the team and in their community. The Perry/Yonamine Unity Award is named for the former 49ers players and pioneers of unity and diversity, Joe “The Jet” Perry and Wally Yonamine, and is voted on by the players.

Community Relations Service Awards

Niners players provided 800 hours of community service to the Bay Area in 2023. Top participants and winners of the Community Relations Service Awards were LB Curtis Robinson with this season’s veteran player award, former 49ers OL Ilm Manning with the rookie player award, and General Manager John Lynch’s wife, Linda Lynch, receiving the family award on behalf of the Lynch family. In its inaugural year, the Linebackers won the position group award. Kittle won the 49ers NFL Salute to Service Award for the third time and was a finalist for the leaguewide honor.

Walter Payton Man of the Year Nominee: DL Arik Armstead

The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, named after the late Hall of Fame running back of the Chicago Bears, is given annually to the player who best exemplifies a commitment to philanthropy and community involvement.

Garry Niver Award: DL Nick Bosa

The Garry Niver Award is presented annually by the San Francisco Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America to a 49ers’ player for his cooperation and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their jobs. The award is named after pro football writer, Garry Niver, who was a long-time beat writer who covered the 49ers for the San Mateo Times.

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