Despite not being valuable enough to hold a job at ESPN (lol), Ed Werder is apparently worthy of one of the most prestigious awards a football reporter can receive.
Six weeks after falling casualty to ESPN’s mass layoffs, Weder was awarded the Pro Football Writers of America’s Dick McCann Award on Wednesday. The distinction is given annually to “a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage,” per the PFWA web site.
.@EdwerderRFA has been selected as the PFWA's 2017 Dick McCann Award honoree. Werder is the 49th McCann Award winner.
— Pro Football Writers (@PFWAwriters) June 14, 2017
Werder tweeted that he was “honored, humbled, thankful” for the honor.
I'm honored, humbled, thankful to my peers, audiences, employers, colleagues, the teams I covered, players, coaches, others who trusted me https://t.co/jCHUSFFyDx
— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) June 14, 2017
This award confirms what pretty much everyone already knew: that Werder is as widely respected as NFL reporters come and the type of guy who, in a just world, would be receiving contract extensions, not pink slips.
Werder is currently unemployed and might not pick up a new job anytime soon. As he explained shortly after being laid off, if he picks up another NFL-related gig his sacrifices his (presumably lucrative) ESPN salary.
Awards are often a hollow way to judge a career in something as nuanced as reporting, but the list of previous McCann Award honorees is a who’s who of NFL media greats. As the PFWA points out, three other ESPNers have earned the distinction previously: Chris Mortensen in 2016, Len Pasquarelli in 2008 and John Clayton, who was also recently laid off, in 2007.
Obviously Werder did not need an award to validate his status as an ace NFL reporter, but the PFWA kindly reminded us all exactly who ESPN chose to lay off.