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Chiefs announce 2021 team MVP, rookie of the year

Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs have announced their Derrick Thomas and Mack Lee Hill award-winners for the 2021 NFL season. The Chiefs finished 12-5 during the 2021 regular season, clinching the No. 2 seed in the AFC. The team went on to advance to their fourth straight home AFC title game, which they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The awards are determined by a player vote after the season ends.

Derrick Thomas Award (most valuable player)

Safety Tyrann Mathieu was named the Chiefs’ Derrick Thomas award recipient for most valuable player in 2021, as he once again served as the team’s defensive leader.

Mathieu, 29, played and started 16 games for the Chiefs, compiling 76 tackles (60 solo), six passes defensed and three interceptions — including a touchdown. Mathieu also recovered three fumbles and added a sack. Mathieu’s three playoff games included six tackles (five solo).

He is currently due to become and unrestricted free agent.

Mack Lee Hill Award (rookie of the year)

2021’s No. 58-overall pick, linebacker Nick Bolton, took home the Chiefs’ Mack Lee Hill award for top rookie.

Despite just 12 starts and a limited role for much of the season, Bolton led the Chiefs in tackles with 112 (70 solo), including 11 tackles for loss and three quarterback hits. Bolton also had three passes defensed and recovered a fumble. Bolton led the rest of the Chiefs defenders by more than 30 tackles.

Bolton’s postseason included 19 tackles (11 solo), including a tackle for loss.