Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

NFL Way to Play

Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up.

The NFL and HBCUs

The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Gameday: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.


In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and five NFL executives to create the NFL’s 256-game masterpiece.

Big Data Bowl

The inaugural analytics contest explores statistical innovations in football — how the game is played and coached.

Youth Football

Promoting the values of football.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs and services NFL Player Engagement provides to assist every player before, during and after his football career.

College All Star Games

Strengthening football and the community.

NFL Legends Community

Strengthening the NFL brotherhood.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2018 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2018 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

NFL Rules Digest

A quick reference guide to the NFL rulebook.

Football 101

Football 101

Terms Glossary

Sharpen your NFL football knowledge with this glossary of the game's fundamental terms. 

Formations 101

See where the players line up in pro football's most common offensive and defensive formations.

Quick Guide to NFL TV Graphics

Understand what the graphics on NFL television broadcasts mean and how they can help you get the most out of watching NFL games.

NFL Instant Replay Process

The NFL’s instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. Learn how it works.

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats. Sort the stats by season or by week.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

The legacy of former Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winners will be recognized at Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. In honor of their excellence on and off the field, former Man of the Year winners — and family members representing those who are no longer with us — will gather during Super Bowl weekend for a series of special events and programs.

Before Super Bowl LII kicks off, former winners will be recognized on the field for their contributions to the game and their communities. The Man of the Year pregame recognition will lead up to the introduction of the 2017 recipient.

Players who belong to the exceptional Man of the Year fraternity will be honored, including the family of the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, Pro Football Hall of Famers and Legends Franco Harris, Roger Staubach and LaDainian Tomlinson, and Super Bowl Champions Eli and Peyton Manning.

"For the first time in NFL history, Man of the Year winners will come together on the NFL's biggest stage," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The NFL is proud to host these remarkable leaders and recognize their impact on the community. From the family of the late Johnny Unitas to 2016 co-winners Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning, the most distinguished players on and off the field will share a platform in honor of their accomplishments."

An event for past winners and their families will kick off the weekend on Thursday, Feb. 1 and celebrate the legacy that Man of the Year winners have left on the game and in their communities. To further advance the legacy of Man of the Year winners and create impact in their communities, the event will also be a fundraiser for the NFL Foundation. Money raised will be distributed among both the NFL Foundation and the nonprofit organizations supported by the Men of the Year.

Considered the league's most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field. The 32 nominees for the 2017 award were announced last month. Later this month, three nominees will be announced as finalists for the award renamed in 1999 in honor of Walter Payton.

The winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.

A total of $500,000 dollars will be donated in the name of the 2017 winner — $250,000 to the winner's charity of choice, and another $250,000 in his name to expand the NFL and United Way’s Character Playbook across the country. The other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity and $100,000 in their names to expand Character Playbook. The other 29 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and $50,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.

Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette began appearing on uniforms this season to recognize past award winners and current nominees. The five current players who have won the award — Drew Brees, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and Jason Witten — will wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys in perpetuity to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. All 2017 nominees wore a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field. This tradition will continue for future nominees and winners of the award.

Earlier this season, the NFL announced the Super Bowl Ticket Giveaway, to surprise fans across the country with an invitation to Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. A total of 500 free tickets will be distributed under the program as a way to give back to dedicated NFL fans and provide them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Each of the 2017 Man of the Year nominees received two Super Bowl LII tickets to give away to fans and community heroes.

For more information on the nominees and the award, visit

2016 Larry Fitzgerald
Eli Manning
Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants
2015 Anquan Boldin San Francisco 49ers
2014 Thomas Davis Carolina Panthers
2013 Charles Tillman Chicago Bears
2012 Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys
2011 Matt Birk Baltimore Ravens
2010 Madieu Williams Minnesota Vikings
2009 Brian Waters Kansas City Chiefs
2008 Kurt Warner Arizona Cardinals
2007 Jason Taylor Miami Dolphins
2006 LaDainian Tomlinson
Drew Brees
San Diego Chargers
New Orleans Saints
2005 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts
2004 Warrick Dunn Atlanta Falcons
2003 Will Shields Kansas City Chiefs
2002 Troy Vincent Philadelphia Eagles
2001 Jerome Bettis Pittsburgh Steelers
2000 Derrick Brooks
Jim Flanigan
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Green Bay Packers
1999 Cris Carter Minnesota Vikings
1998 Dan Marino Miami Dolphins
1997 Troy Aikman Dallas Cowboys
1996 Darrell Green Washington Redskins
1995 Boomer Esiason New York Jets
1994 Junior Seau San Diego Chargers
1993 Derrick Thomas Kansas City Chiefs
1992 John Elway Denver Broncos
1991 Anthony Munoz Cincinnati Bengals
1990 Mike Singletary Chicago Bears
1989 Warren Moon Houston Oilers
1988 Steve Largent Seattle Seahawks
1987 Dave Duerson Chicago Bears
1986 Reggie Williams Cincinnati Bengals
1985 Dwight Stephenson Miami Dolphins
1984 Marty Lyons New York Jets
1983 Rolf Benirschke San Diego Chargers
1982 Joe Theismann Washington Redskins
1981 Lynn Swann Pittsburgh Steelers
1980 Harold Carmichael Philadelphia Eagles
1979 Joe Greene Pittsburgh Steelers
1978 Roger Staubach Dallas Cowboys
1977 Walter Payton Chicago Bears
1976 Franco Harris Pittsburgh Steelers
1975 Ken Anderson Cincinnati Bengals
1974 George Blanda Oakland Raiders
1973 Len Dawson Kansas City Chiefs
1972 Willie Lanier Kansas City Chiefs
1971 John Hadl San Diego Chargers
1970 Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts
1969 – Gladiator Award Bart Starr Green Bay Packers

*The Gladiator Award was the precursor to the Man of the Year Award, which was established in 1970.