"Every general manager knows that the emergence of one or two of these ‘value' athletes makes the difference in a team's success during the season," said former Packers general manager Ron Wolf, who with former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi and former Steelers GM Tom Donahoe selected the nominees. "Whether they earn a spot during the preseason or are thrust into action because of an injury, when these athletes deliver great performances, they become instant fan favorites, because we all like to see the underdog succeed."
Jennings, with an annual salary of $346,000, finished fourth in the NFL with a per-catch average of 17.4 yards and tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns with 12. His emergence in a Week 3 victory over San Diego helped turn the Packers' offense into an elite unit.
The other nominees:
— Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson, who makes $440,000, never let first-round pick Brady Quinn get off the bench, finishing fifth in the NFL in TD passes with 29 and ninth with 3,787 passing yards.
— Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard, who makes $1.1 million per season, is the NFL's third-rated passer (102.2) and threw just three interceptions.
— Chicago wide receiver Devin Hester, who makes $1.2 million per season, led the NFL with six kick-return touchdowns.
— New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, who makes $440,000 per year, tied for 15th in the NFL with 1,009 rushing yards and third with 91.7 yards per game.
— Denver wide receiver Brandon marshall, who makes $366,000 per year, finished fifth in the NFL with 102 catches, sixth with 1,325 receiving yards and scored touchdowns.
Fans can vote online at www.vizio.com, with voters entered for a chance to win a Vizio 47-inch flat-panel high-definition television.