The NFL announced today the 32 team nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. Representing the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact, each player was selected as his team's Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field and is among the league's most prestigious awards.
Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the award, named for Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton, who died in 1999.
Finalists will be announced in January 2017 and the winner will be announced in Houston at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special on Feb. 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, from 8-10 p.m. (ET and PT) on FOX.
“We're proud to honor these outstanding men who represent the NFL's best on and off the field,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Our players have a unique platform to make a difference far beyond the field of play. We salute these individuals who are exemplary in their commitment to making a positive impact in communities across the globe through their dedicated service and philanthropic efforts.”
“There are so many wonderful stories about the work these men are doing in their communities,” said Nationwide's Chief Marketing Officer Terrance Williams. “Nationwide is proud to shine a national spotlight on the difference that these 32 individuals are making in the lives of others. We congratulate this year's nominees and thank them for their leadership.”
In addition to a donation to a charity of his choice, each nominee will receive a donation in his name to implement the NFL and United Way's Character Playbook Program in his club's market. Character Playbook, launched in April at the NFL Draft, is a national education initiative focused on youth character development and healthy relationships. This interactive digital program uses evidence-based strategies to educate students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years with a focus on positive character development and social-emotional learning.
As a result of the enhanced contributions, $1 million will be donated in the name of the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, with $500,000 going to a charity of his choice and $500,000 supporting the expansion of Character Playbook across all NFL markets. The two finalists will each receive a $125,000 donation to the charity of their choice and a $125,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook and the additional 29 team winners will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their name to implement Character Playbook in their club market. Donations will be courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
To celebrate and promote the 32 nominees, Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the award, will host the second annual Charity Challenge. Fans will be encouraged to tweet using the unique player hashtag for each nominee. The hashtag that generates the most mentions will win an additional $25,000 donation to his charity of choice, courtesy of Nationwide.
For more information on the team nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.
|2016 WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR TEAM NOMINEES|
|Arizona Cardinals||Larry Fitzgerald|
|Atlanta Falcons||Matt Ryan|
|Baltimore Ravens||Steve Smith Sr.|
|Buffalo Bills||Eric Wood|
|Carolina Panthers||Greg Olsen|
|Chicago Bears||Sam Acho|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Andy Dalton|
|Cleveland Browns||Joe Thomas|
|Dallas Cowboys||Sean Lee|
|Denver Broncos||Virgil Green|
|Detroit Lions||Don Carey|
|Green Bay Packers||Jayrone Elliott|
|Houston Texans||Brian Cushing|
|Indianapolis Colts||Joe Reitz|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Julius Thomas|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Alex Smith|
|Los Angeles Rams||Johnny Hekker|
|Miami Dolphins||Mike Pouncey|
|Minnesota Vikings||Chad Greenway|
|New England Patriots||Rob Gronkowski|
|New Orleans Saints||Roman Harper|
|New York Giants||Eli Manning|
|New York Jets||Brandon Marshall|
|Oakland Raiders||Dan Williams|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Jon Dorenbos|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Arthur Moats|
|San Diego Chargers||Jeremiah Attaochu|
|San Francisco 49ers||Torrey Smith|
|Seattle Seahawks||Cliff Avril|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Vincent Jackson|
|Tennessee Titans||Jurrell Casey|
|Washington Redskins||Pierre Garçon|
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; specialty health; pet, motorcycle, boat and farm insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.