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49ers' Rice Is First Receiver to Be Named NFL's Most Valuable Player

January 20, 1988|United Press International

NEW YORK — San Francisco 49ers receiver Jerry Rice, who set National Football League records for touchdown catches this season despite playing in just 12 games because of the NFL strike, Tuesday was named the league's most valuable player by the Professional Football Writers of America.

Rice, 25, became the first receiver to win the Schick Trophy, now in its 13th year. Last year, New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor was the first player other than a running back or quarterback to win the award.

The National Football Conference 1985 rookie of the year from Mississippi Valley State, Rice set NFL records in 1987 of most touchdown receptions overall (22) and in consecutive games (13). He began the streak last season.

Rice said he was honored to win the award but added not reaching the Super Bowl made his season a disappointment.

"We thought we were peaking at the right time," he said. "Against Minnesota (in the playoffs) we played well, played hard--things just didn't work out."

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