At the end of last year, five players were selected as candidates to receive the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award. These players are listed in order of how they placed below, with the number of votes they received in parentheses:
Houston Texans OLB Brian Cushing (39)
Buffalo Bills S Jarius Byrd (6)
Green Bay Packers OLB Clay Matthews (3)
Washington Redskins OLB Brian Orakpo (2)
Detroit Lions S Louis Delmas (0)
Brian Cushing completely ran away with the award, receiving 39 of the 50 available votes. That was before he tested positive for the NFL-banned substance, HCG. While HCG is a non-steroidal substance, it is still closely linked to the use of steroids.
Cushing tested positive for the substance back in September, though the AP had little to no knowledge of this at the time of the first voting.
After Cushing tested positive for the banned substance, the NFL swiftly handed down punishment, suspending him for 4 games at the beginning of the 2010 season. In light of this, the AP senior writers decided to do what had never been done before—Re-vote the Defensive Rookie of the Year with Cushing still eligible as a candidate.
The votes are now in and go as follows:
Houston Texans OLB Brian Cushing (18)
Buffalo Bills S Jarius Byrd (13)
Green Bay Packers OLB Clay Matthews (10)
Washington Redskins OLB Brian Orakpo (3)
St. Louis MLB James Laurinaitis (1)
ESPN's own Chris Mortensen was one who abstained, who voted for Cushing the first time around.
Although Cushing did not lose the award, his number of votes dropped dramatically, with the main beneficiaries being Jarius Byrd and Clay Mathews.
Interestingly enough, James Laurinaitis received one vote in favor of Louis Delmas.
Overall, this outcome was for the best. If someone else had won the award, it would have been forever tainted. Who wants to win something based off of a technicality?
I know personally, I'm happy that Clay Matthews kept his position, not to say I wouldn't have been happy if he'd won.