HOUSTON - Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt is among the 32 nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. The award represents the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact.
Each of these players was selected as his team's Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award.
Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field.
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 prime-time awards special to air nationally at 8 p.m. (CT) Feb. 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, on NBC.
"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 to charity. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
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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