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Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up.
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Upon further review…
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The NFL announced the 32 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 was selected as his team's Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award.
Renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton and considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field and excellence on the field.
Three nominees will be selected as finalists for the national award and will be announced in January 2018.
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. NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
"NFL players are outstanding, generous men of character who give back to their communities," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Walter Payton represented the very best on and off the field and this year's Man of the Year nominees exemplify his legacy of philanthropy and leadership. We are proud to support players as they use their platforms to drive positive change."
$500,000 dollars will be donated in the name of the 2017 winner — $250,000 to the charity of his choice and another $250,000 in his name to expand Character Playbook across the country. The two other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity of choice and another $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 an additional $50,000 in their names to expand Character Playbook. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
Starting with the Dec. 7 Saints-Falcons Thursday Night Football game, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette will appear in uniform elements to further 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 will wear 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, which will surprise fans across the country with an invitation to attend Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. A total of 500 free tickets will be distributed under the program to give back to dedicated NFL fans with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Each Man of the Year nominee will receive two Super Bowl LII tickets to give away to fans and community heroes.
For more information on the nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.
|2017 WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR NOMINEES|
|Arizona Cardinals||Patrick Peterson|
|Atlanta Falcons||Ben Garland|
|Baltimore Ravens||Benjamin Watson|
|Buffalo Bills||Lorenzo Alexander|
|Carolina Panthers||Greg Olsen|
|Chicago Bears||Sam Acho|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Michael Johnson|
|Cleveland Browns||Randall Telfer|
|Dallas Cowboys||Travis Frederick|
|Denver Broncos||Chris Harris Jr.|
|Detroit Lions||Haloti Ngata|
|Green Bay Packers||Clay Matthews|
|Houston Texans||J.J. Watt|
|Indianapolis Colts||Darius Butler|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Malik Jackson|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Alex Smith|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Casey Hayward|
|Los Angeles Rams||Rodger Saffold|
|Miami Dolphins||Kenny Stills|
|Minnesota Vikings||Kyle Rudolph|
|New England Patriots||Nate Solder|
|New Orleans Saints||Cameron Jordan|
|New York Giants||Mark Herzlich|
|New York Jets||Quincy Enunwa|
|Oakland Raiders||Bruce Irvin|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Malcolm Jenkins|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Cameron Heyward|
|San Francisco 49ers||Bradley Pinion|
|Seattle Seahawks||Michael Bennett|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Clinton McDonald|
|Tennessee Titans||Wesley Woodyard|
|Washington Redskins||Nick Sundberg|