The NFL 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 presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field.

Three of these 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 announced in January 2016.

The winner will be announced during the 5th Annual NFL Honors awards show, a two-hour primetime special airing nationally on February 6, the night before Super Bowl 50, from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

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.

“Serving their communities and philanthropic causes is a strong and long-standing tradition of NFL players,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told the New York Times and USA Today. “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 Officer Terrance 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.”

Below is a list of team nominees. For more team nominees and award information, visit


Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Peterson
Atlanta Falcons – Patrick DiMarco
Baltimore Ravens – Steve Smith Sr.
Buffalo Bills – Eric Wood
Carolina Panthers – Greg Olsen
Chicago Bears – Matt Forté
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

About Nationwide: Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; specialty health; pet, motorcycle, boat and farm insurance. For more information, visit

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, Join the Nation and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. 

In other NFL award news…

The 32 player nominees for the second annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award have been finalized, the NFL announced last week. Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes NFL players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.

The award was created last season in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.

Acccoring to the release from the league’s office in New York City, the winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community will select from the 32 nominees eight finalists (four in the AFC; four in the NFC). The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Meckelnburg and Leonard Wheeler.

The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award when players vote on December 18. From the eight finalists, each team’s players will submit a consensus vote of its choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

In 2014, the players chose Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals as the inaugural winner of the Art Rooney Award.

The winner selected by the vote of the players will be announced during the nationally televised “5th Annual NFL Honors” show on Saturday, February 6 on CBS, the night before Super Bowl 50. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.

Arizona Cardinals – DT Calais Campbell
Atlanta Falcons – CB Desmond Trufant
Baltimore Ravens – RB Justin Forsett
Buffalo Bills – QB Tyrod Taylor
Carolina Panthers – LB Luke Kuechly
Chicago Bears – RB Matt Forté
Cincinnati Bengals – LB Vinny Rey
Cleveland Browns – QB Josh McCown
Dallas Cowboys – LB Sean Lee
Denver Broncos – WR Demaryius Thomas
Detroit Lions – WR Calvin Johnson
Green Bay Packers – LB Julius Peppers
Houston Texans – T Duane Brown
Indianapolis Colts – QB Matt Hasselbeck
Jacksonville Jaguars – DT Sen’Derrick Marks
Kansas City Chiefs – LB Derrick Johnson
Miami Dolphins – DT Earl Mitchell
Minnesota Vikings – LB Chad Greenway
New England Patriots – T Nate Solder
New Orleans Saints – TE Benjamin Watson
New York Giants – RB Rashad Jennings
New York Jets – LB David Harris
Oakland Raiders – S Charles Woodson
Philadelphia Eagles – LB DeMeco Ryans
Pittsburgh Steelers – CB William Gay
San Diego Chargers – QB Philip Rivers
San Francisco 49ers – T Joe Staley
Seattle Seahawks – WR Jermaine Kearse
St. Louis Rams – DT Aaron Donald
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Gerald McCoy
Tennessee Titans – CB Jason McCourty
Washington Redskins – RB Alfred Morris