NFL Announces 32 Nominees for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Presented by Nationwide

NFL Announces 32 Nominees for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Presented by Nationwide

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The NFL recently announced the 32 players honored as their team’s Man of the Year. 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. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field.

There have been 27 Hall of Famers who have won the award during their NFL career since 1970 when the award was first given out. Those Hall of Famers include:

1970 - Johnny Unitas   
1972 - Willie Lanier     
1973 - Len Dawson      
1974 - George Blanda       
1976 - Franco Harris       
1977 - Walter Payton      
1978 - Roger Staubach    
1979 - Joe Greene    
1981 - Lynn Swann         
1985 - Dwight Stephenson   
1988 - Steve Largent     
1989 - Warren Moon       
1990 - Mike Singletary    
1991 - Anthony Muñoz    
1992 - John Elway       
1993 - Derrick Thomas    
1994 - Junior Seau     
1996 - Darrell Green    
1997 - Troy Aikman      
1998 - Dan Marino     
1999 - Cris Carter   
2000 - Derrick Brooks      
2001 - Jerome Bettis          
2003 - Will Shields
2006 – LaDainian Tomlinson
2007 – Jason Taylor
2008 – Kurt Warner

Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the national award, renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON. Finalists 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 will be donated to the winner's charity of choice and $250,000 will be donated 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 a $100,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All other 29 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.

Starting in the 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, a new initiative to 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 as a way to give back to dedicated NFL fans and provide them 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.

Below is a list of 2017 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


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