Today the NFL announced the 32 players honored as their team’s Man of the Year. According to NFL.com “Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, these players are now eligible to win the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field.”
From this list, three nominees will be selected as finalists for the award, named for the Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton, who died in 1999. Finalists will be revealed in January 2016 and the winner will be announced during the fifth Annual NFL Honors awards show on Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50.
Each of the 32 team nominees receives a $5,000 donation to their charity of choice. The two runner-ups will receive an additional $6,000 donation, and the winner will receive an additional $50,000 donation. Donations will be courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
Per the NFL:
“Serving their communities and philanthropic causes is a strong and long-standing tradition of NFL players,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “These outstanding young men embrace and represent that important commitment of giving back to our communities. We salute and thank our players for their leadership.”
To further celebrate and promote the 32 nominees, Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the award, will execute an inaugural Charity Challenge. Team nominees will each have a unique hashtag and fans will be encouraged to tweet using player hashtags. The player hashtag that generates the most mentions will win a $20,000 donation to his charity of choice from Nationwide.
“As a company who understands the importance of community service and giving, Nationwide is proud to be the sponsor of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award,” said Nationwide’s Chief Marketing OfficerTerrance Williams. “While only one of these men can win the award, the fact that they have been nominated makes them, and the communities they serve, winners. We congratulate this year’s nominees and thank them for their leadership.”
Here is the list of team nominees:
Arizona Cardinals — Patrick Peterson
Atlanta Falcons — Patrick DiMarco
Baltimore Ravens — Steve Smith Sr.
Buffalo Bills — Eric Wood
Carolina Panthers — Greg Olsen
Chicago Bears — Matt Forte
Cincinnati Bengals — Carlos Dunlap
Cleveland Browns — Gary Barnidge
Dallas Cowboys — Brandon Carr
Denver Broncos — David Bruton Jr.
Detroit Lions — Stephen Tulloch
Green Bay Packers — Sam Barrington
Houston Texans — J.J. Watt
Indianapolis Colts — Dwayne Allen
Jacksonville Jaguars — Zane Beadles
Kansas City Chiefs — Eric Berry
Miami Dolphins — Ryan Tannehill
Minnesota Vikings — Chad Greenway
New England Patriots — Devin McCourty
New Orleans Saints — Benjamin Watson
New York Giants — Eli Manning
New York Jets — Eric Decker
Oakland Raiders — Justin Tuck
Philadelphia Eagles — Connor Barwin
Pittsburgh Steelers — Cameron Heyward
San Diego Chargers — Darrell Stuckey
San Francisco 49ers — Anquan Boldin
Seattle Seahawks — Richard Sherman
St. Louis Rams — Chris Long
Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Vincent Jackson
Tennessee Titans — Delanie Walker
Washington Redskins — Ryan Kerrigan