With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement now firmly established in the NFL, and the guarantee that we'll bee seeing snaps in 2011, it's time to begin discussing potential winners of some of the NFL's biggest awards.
Troy Polamalu made his presence in the secondary known to any player who dared set foot there throughout 2010 and was voted the Defensive Player of the year, to no one's surprise.
This being said, there were a handful of defensive standouts last year, who were arguably just as lethal to their team's defence, and who challenged Polamalu for the award.
With fresh stat sheets for 2011, you can expect many of these players to make a run at the award again, as well as some surprises from rookies and players who may have fallen short on their defensive expectations in 2010, but who will look to make amends in the new season.
Mind you, this is just a list of predictions, and although there are a great number of defensive players who could rise above the rest and take home the award, these are who I think are the top ten candidates at the start of the season to win Defensive Player of the Year.