If Brian Cushing loses DROY

My AFC South colleague Paul Kuharsky suggests there isn't much outcry for Houston linebacker Brian Cushing to surrender his NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. But if the Associated Press decides to strip him of that title in light of his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's steroid policy, let's try to understand where that will -- and will not -- leave us.

Unfortunately for Green Bay fans, that turn of events probably wouldn't net Packers linebacker Clay Matthews a retroactive award. Matthews finished third in the original voting behind Cushing and Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd. We can only assume Byrd would get the award if Cushing loses it.

Longtime AP football writer Dave Goldberg suggests that a re-vote is possible, leaving the 39 people who voted for Cushing to determine whether Byrd or Matthews deserves the award in a landscape that doesn't including Cushing. Byrd theoretically should win a re-vote, but you never know how voters might react.

Here, by the way, was the full voting for the 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year:

  1. Houston linebacker Brian Cushing (39 votes)

  2. Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd (6)

  3. Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews (3)

  4. Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo (2)