Mack did not attend the awards ceremony in Houston and was not available for comment, but posted a message on Instagram.

“I want to first thank my fellow NFL peers for this amazing honor,” Mack wrote. “It’s a privilege to play against you week in and week out. To my teammates, you know I couldn’t have done this without you. Thank you to (owner) Mr. (Mark) Davis and (general manager) Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie and the entire Oakland Raiders organization for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love.

“I want to say thank you to Raider Nation, the best fans in the world! And of course I want to thank my Mom and Day, my family and my friends for always believing in me and allowing me to pursue my dreams. It’s truly a blessing to be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year!”

Mack becomes the first Raider since cornerback Lester Hayes in 1980 to win the NFL’s top defensive award and adds this one to similar honors he earned this season from the Professional Football Writers of America and the Sporting News. The AP’s award is widely viewed as the most prestigious, with voting coming from a 50-person panel of national broadcasters and writers.