Posted: 2:15 p.m.
The Bengals sent out a press release Thursday with the results of the annual voting of The Cincinnati Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America after the group named cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall as the Bengals 2009 Most Valuable Players and quarterback Carson Palmer as the "Good Guy."
The voters are the beat writers who cover the team on a daily basis:
Hall and Joseph established themselves in 2009 as one of the top cornerback tandems in the league. Each had six interceptions on the season, which was a career-high for both players. Hall led the team with 27 passes defensed and Joseph had 25.
"We also had to consider Cedric Benson for the MVP," said chapter spokesman Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer. "If not for his hip injury, he might have set a team rushing record. But this was a season when the defense was in the forefront, and I think the vote reflected that."
It's the first time that the MVP award has gone to the defense, and also the first time there have been co-MVPs.
Hall, a first-round pick out of Michigan in 2007, has started 40 straight games at right cornerback and leads the team in interceptions (14) and passes defensed (64) over the last three seasons.
Joseph, a first-round selection from South Carolina in 2006, has returned an INT for a touchdown each of the last three seasons, including Week 3 against Pittsburgh, and has 10 interceptions in his four seasons.
Palmer received the organization's "Good Guy" award for his excellent relations with local media.
"Carson is consistently gracious in respecting the job we do, and I think ultimately it reflects his respect of Bengals fans," Reedy said. "It's extremely important to us that as the team leader, he sets such an example, and that we are able to bring our readers the information about him that they so strongly desire."
Hall, Joseph and Palmer will receive their awards from the PFWA on the first day of offseason conditioning workouts in late March.
This is the eighth year the Cincinnati PFWA has named an MVP. Past winners were QB Jon Kitna (2002-03), HB Rudi Johnson (2004), QB Carson Palmer (2005), OT Willie Anderson (2006) and WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (2007-08).
Palmer becomes the eighth "Good Guy" recipient. Past winners have been FB Lorenzo Neal, T Willie Anderson, RB Brandon Bennett, LB Brian Simmons, DT John Thornton, WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, DT Bryan Robinson and G Bobbie Williams.
Palmer and Houshmandzadeh are the only players to win both the MVP and the Good Guy awards.