Apologies if this has been posted, hadn't noticed it before. Here's my criterion for an MVP in any sport: Remove the player in question and replace him with an above-average player. What would the team's record look like? Under this criterion, you can rule out Shaun Alexander. Replace him with someone like Reuben Droughns and I still think Seattle goes 10-6 or 11-5 with that cream-puff schedule. Besides, if Alexander were truly the most valuable player in football, don't you think Seattle would have re-signed him by now? Do you think the Giants would be going into the offseason with Tiki Barber unsigned? What about K.C. with Larry Johnson? No and no. I can't give someone an MVP whose own team doesn't care whether he's signed. That's ridiculous. You can rule out Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James, too. Replace them with an above-average QB (let's say Mark Brunell) or an above-average RB (Rudi Johnson) and the Colts are still 10-6 or 11-5 with their defense and all those offensive weapons. As for Barber, I might have voted for him a week ago, and only because that Giants team would have been 6-10 or 7-9 with an above-average running back in his place (let's say Domanick Davis). But after watching them get kicked around by the Skins last week, I don't think they're a championship-caliber team -- it's hard to imagine the Giants having a league MVP when they probably aren't getting out of the first round. That leaves Tom Brady. If you replaced him with someone like Jake Delhomme or Drew Bledsoe, the Patriots would have been 1-7 after eight games. I'm telling you. He held them together when they were banged-up and ready to roll over. And in a similar situation, sure, maybe Manning would have held the Colts together Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ but the fact remains, only six teams have a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl (Indy, New England, Cincy, Denver, Chicago and Seattle) and only one of those six teams is in that position because of one guy and one guy alone. Not only did Brady hold the fort when the injuries kept piling up, he raised his game to another level and pretty much carried them for two straight months. Now that's an MVP. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/051230 Yeah, he's a homer... but he's a good homer.