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Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award 2016 nominees announced

NFL Communications


The NFL announced the nominees for The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. Named after the great Chicago Bears’ Hall of Fame running back, who himself was a recipient of the award before his untimely death in 1999. The award recognizes a player’s excellence both on and off the field. Each of the 32 teams nominate a player who they feel has had a positive impact on the community.

Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the award, with the winner being announced at NFL Honors, the night before Super Bowl LI.

This year, the winner of The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will have $1 million donated in his name, with $500,000 going to a charity of his choice and the remaining $500,000 helping to expand Character Playbook across all NFL markets. Character Playbook is “a new digital learning initiative that teaches students the skills to cultivate character and maintain healthy relationships throughout their lives”.

The other two finalists will each receive a donation in their name of $125,000 to a charity of their choice and a $125,000 donation to expand Character Playbook, while the remaining 29 nominees will each receive a $50,000 donation in their name to a charity of their choice and a $50,000 donation to Character Playbook for their team’s local market.

The award’s sponsor, Nationwide, will host a Charity Challenge with each nominee having a unique hashtag. Whichever player’s unique hashtag receives the most mentions on Twitter, Nationwide will donate an additional $25,000 in his name to a charity of his choice.

Below is a list of each team’s nominee:

Arizona CardinalsLarry Fitzgerald
Atlanta FalconsMatt Ryan
Baltimore RavensSteve Smith Sr.
Buffalo BillsEric Wood
Carolina PanthersGreg Olsen
Chicago BearsSam Acho
Cincinnati BengalsAndy Dalton
Cleveland BrownsJoe Thomas
Dallas CowboysSean Lee
Denver BroncosVirgil Green
Detroit LionsDon Carey
Green Bay PackersJayrone Elliott
Houston TexansBrian Cushing
Indianapolis ColtsJoe Reitz
Jacksonville JaguarsJulius Thomas
Kansas City ChiefsAlex Smith
Los Angeles RamsJohnny Hekker
Miami DolphinsMike Pouncey
Minnesota VikingsChad Greenway
New England PatriotsRob Gronkowski
New Orleans SaintsRoman Harper
New York GiantsEli Manning
New York JetsBrandon Marshall
Oakland RaidersDan Williams
Philadelphia EaglesJon Dorenbos
Pittsburgh SteelersArthur Moats
San Diego ChargersJeremiah Attaochu
San Francisco 49ersTorrey Smith
Seattle SeahawksCliff Avril
Tampa Bay BucaneersVincent Jackson
Tennessee TitansJurrell Casey
Washington RedskinsPierre Garçon

The award was won by Anquan Boldin in 2015.

For more information about the nominees and the award visit