Browns writers vote Myles Garrett player of year, Garrett, Joel Bitonio 'Good Guy Award' co-winners

Nate Ulrich
Akron Beacon Journal
Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joel Bitonio works against defensive end Myles Garrett during NFL football training camp, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ken Blaze) ORG XMIT: OHKB126

Among Browns players, defensive end Myles Garrett and left guard Joel Bitonio ought to dominate awards season, and they're off to a strong start.

Garrett was voted the Joe Thomas player of the year for the second consecutive season — a first in Browns history.

Garrett and Bitonio were named co-winners of the the Dino Lucarelli "Good Guy Award."

The votes were cast by members of the local chapter of Pro Football Writers of America, and the results were announced Wednesday morning.

Garrett earned his third Pro Bowl selection last month and set the official Browns single-season sack record with 15, which is tied for third in the NFL. He has appeared in 16 games and compiled a career-high 50 tackles, three passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one defensive touchdown. In Week 3, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording a Browns single-game record 4½ sacks in a win over the Chicago Bears.

"It's easy to talk about Myles," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said on Zoom. "Obviously, the on-the-field stuff, what everyone sees, is so impressive. Incredible talent. Special, rare talent. He has come up big for us in big moments.

"Then off of the field, getting to know Myles just the last couple years, he is just a tremendous person. He's very inquisitive, very smart. To see the type of person he is becoming and continues to grow, like all of us, I think it's an impressive sight to see.”

Offensive lineman rewarded:Browns Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio signs three-year contract extension

The "Good Guy Award" is given annually to a player for his cooperation with the media and for the way the player carries himself in the community and with his teammates.

Bitonio has won the award a franchise-record three times. This is the first time Garrett has won the award.

Six players received first-place votes for the "Good Guy Award": Garrett, Bitonio, cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II, safety John Johnson III and defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

Bringing art downtown:Browns star Myles Garrett strengthens ties to Cleveland with mural honoring late grandmother

Giving back to the community:Browns' Myles Garrett thankful for bond with Cleveland: 'It's a blessing that I was drafted here'

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) smiles on the sideline during practice at the NFL team's training facility, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Berea, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]

Joe Thomas Award — player of the year winners

2001    LB Jamir Miller

2002    RB William Green

2003    LB Andra Davis

2004    SS Robert Griffith

2005    RB Reuben Droughns

2006    LB Kamerion Wimbley

2007    QB Derek Anderson

2008    DL Shaun Rogers

2009    KR Joshua Cribbs

2010    RB Peyton Hillis

2011    LB D’Qwell Jackson

2012    K Phil Dawson

2013    WR Josh Gordon

2014    OL Joe Thomas

2015    TE Gary Barnidge

2016    OL Joe Thomas

2017    RB Duke Johnson Jr.

2018    QB Baker Mayfield

2019    RB Nick Chubb

2020    DE Myles Garrett

2021    DE Myles Garrett

Browns guard Joel Bitonio smiles after the first day of  mandatory last June.

"Good Guy Award" winners

2001    QB Tim Couch

2002    DB Corey Fuller

2003    OL Shaun O’Hara

2004    DB Daylon McCutcheon

2005    OL Jeff Faine

2006    DB Brian Russell

2007    K Phil Dawson

2008    DB Brandon McDonald

2009    LB David Bowens

2010    OL Joe Thomas

2011    DB Mike Adams

2012    LB D’Qwell Jackson

2013    OL Joe Thomas

2014    QB Brian Hoyer

2015    QB Josh McCown

2016    LB Christian Kirksey

2017    OL Joel Bitonio

2018    OL Joel Bitonio

2019    DL Sheldon Richardson

2020    DL Larry Ogunjobi

2021    OL Joel Bitonio and DE Myles Garrett

Nate Ulrich can be reached at