CLEVELAND — While the Cleveland Browns won't walk away from the 2021 season with many awards, at least two players have been handed some hardware. On Wednesday, the local chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association honored defensive end Myles Garrett with the Joe Thomas Award for the team's Player of the Year, as well as the Dino Lucarelli ‘Good Guy Award,' which he won alongside left guard Joel Bitonio.
This marks the second consecutive year that Garrett has been named the recipient of the Joe Thomas Award, making him the first Browns player to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons since it was first handed out in 2001. In 16 games this season, the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NFL Draft has set a franchise record with 15 sacks while earning his third career Pro Bowl selection.
Meanwhile, this makes Bitonio's third time winning the Dino Lucarelli ‘Good Guy Award,' which is presented 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."
The longest-tenured member of the Browns, Bitonio is currently in his eighth season in Cleveland. Appearing in 16 games, the Nevada product has been graded as Pro Football Focus' No. 2 guard and has already been selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl.
The 30-year-old Bitonio has also displayed his versatility this season, starting at left tackle in losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Green Bay Packers as the team suffered a COVID-19 outbreak. Earlier this season, he signed a three-year, $56.8 million extension with the Browns, which will keep him under contract in Cleveland through the 2025 season.