The National Football League and FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) announced today quarterbacks Alex Smith (Kansas City Chiefs), Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles) and Tom Brady (New England Patriots) are the finalists for the 2017 FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year honors, while running backs Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs), Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams) are the finalists for the 2017 FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year.

In the weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII, fans have the chance to cast their vote for the one quarterback and one running back they feel had the year’s best Air & Ground performances. Through February 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern, fans can cast their vote for each category at nfl.com/fedex​ or on Twitter by tweeting @FedEx using the hashtag #AirandGround and listing their nominee’s last name to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year.

As part of the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year program, FedEx will donate $100,000 to the USO – $50,000 in each player’s name. The donation will be used to support the USO, a military support organization dedicated to connecting service members and their families to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation.

Throughout the 2017-18 season, FedEx supported its commitment to serving the community by making weekly $2,000 donations to the USO in each of the weekly winning players’ names. The total contribution will amount to $168,000 this season.

New this year, NFL Network Analyst, 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, 2006 FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year and former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson served as the primary voice for the program.

FedEx will announce the 2017 FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year winners at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on NBC.

A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year finalists:

•Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith led the NFL with a 104.7 passer rating. Smith threw for 4,042 yards with five interceptions and became the first player in league history to record five consecutive seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards and fewer than 10 interceptions. Smith ranked 3rd in the NFL with a 67.5% completion percentage, completing 341 of 505 passes.

•Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz’s 33 touchdown passes were the second-most in the NFL despite missing the final three games of the season due to injury. Wentz threw for 3,296 yards and had the league’s fourth best passer rating at 101.9. A 2018 Pro Bowl selection, Wentz led the Eagles to a 13-3 record and the NFC’s number one seed in the playoffs.

•New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was selected to his 13th Pro Bowl. Brady led the NFL with 4,577 passing yards and ranked third in touchdown passes with 32 and passer rating with a 102.8 rating. With eight interceptions this season, Brady joined Alex Smith as the only players in NFL history to have four consecutive seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards and fewer than 10 interceptions.

A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year finalists:

•Kansas City Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt led the league with 1,327 rushing yards and ranked third in scrimmage yards with 1,782. Hunt is the second rookie not selected in the first round to lead the league in rushing yards in the common draft era, since 1967. The 2018 Pro Bowl selection is the only rookie to have two games in a single season with at least 200 scrimmage yards, a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown.

•Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell led the AFC with 1,946 scrimmage yards and finished tied for the AFC lead with nine rushing touchdowns. Bell was selected to his third Pro Bowl and led all players in Pro Bowl fan voting with 855,539 total votes. Bell’s 1,946 scrimmage yards and 1,291 rushing yards are both the second-most in his five-year career.

•Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley led the NFL with 2,093 scrimmage yards and 19 total touchdowns. The 2018 Pro Bowl selection set career highs in rushing yards, 1,305, and rushing touchdowns, 13. Gurley is the third different player in NFL history to have at least 2,000 scrimmage yards, 10 rushing touchdowns and more than five touchdown catches in a single season.

As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx is proud to sponsor the 15th annual FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year awards. The awards highlight the league’s leaders at the quarterback and running back positions, recognizing the players that consistently delivered the best results throughout the season.

The $100,000 donation is part of the company’s FedEx Cares global giving platform, in which FedEx will invest $200 million in more than 200 communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver solutions around the world.

For more information, visit nfl.com/fedex or follow the conversation on Twitter at @NFL.

About FedEx Corporation: FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $62 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 400,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.

About the USO: The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

In other NFL award news…

The National Football League announced the five finalists for the 2017 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR award.

2017 PEPSI NEXT NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

Player Position Team
Alvin Kamara, Running Back – New Orleans Saints
Christian McCaffrey, Running Back – Carolina Panthers
Kareem Hunt, Running Back – Kansas City Chiefs
Leonard Fournette, Running Back – Jacksonville Jaguars
Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback – New Orleans Saints

Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com/Rookies through Thursday, January 25 to determine the 2017 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR.

The 2017 PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR award will be recognized in Minneapolis during Super Bowl LII festivities and online at NFL.com/Rookies.

The five finalists were selected for their outstanding performances throughout the 2017 NFL season.  Each week, five nominees were chosen for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL fans voted for the winner on NFL.com. Those results were used to help determine the finalists.

A closer look at the finalists:

•New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara: Kamara, a 2018 Pro Bowl selection, led all rookies with 14 total touchdowns and ranked second with 1,554 scrimmage yards. He joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1965) as the only rookies in NFL history to have at least five rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns and a kickoff-return touchdown. Kamara led all rookies with 81 receptions, the third-most by a rookie running back in NFL history.

•Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey set the Carolina Panthers franchise rookie record and ranked second among NFL rookies with 80 receptions, the fourth-most by a rookie running back in NFL history. He also set the franchise rookie record with 1,086 scrimmage yards and was one of four rookies with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards this season.

•Kansas City Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt: Hunt, a 2018 Pro Bowl selection, led the league with 1,327 rushing yards and is the second rookie not selected in the first round to lead his league in rushing yards in the common draft era (since 1967). He became the second rookie in NFL history to record at least 1,000 scrimmage yards through his team’s first seven games and began his career with seven consecutive games of at least 100 scrimmage yards, an NFL rookie record. Hunt, who had six games with at least 100 rushing yards, finished with eight rushing touchdowns and 1,782 scrimmage yards, the most among NFL rookies.

•Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette: Fournette led all rookies and tied for third in the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns. He ranked second among rookie running backs with 1,040 rushing yards and was one of nine running backs to rush for at least 1,000 yards during the 2017 season. Fournette rushed for more than 100 yards on five occasions and helped the Jaguars win their division for the first time since 1999 (AFC Central).

•New Orleans Saints CB Marshon Lattimore: Lattimore, a 2018 Pro Bowl selection, led all rookies and tied for fifth in the NFL with five interceptions. He finished the season with 52 tackles, five interceptions, one forced fumble and 18 passes defensed, tied for the most by a rookie during the 2017 season.

This is Pepsi’s 16th year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the 15th year that Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year awards.

About PepsiCo: PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated approximately $63 billion in net revenue in 2016, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth and shareholder value. In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our operating costs; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we operate. For more information, visit http://www.pepsico.com.

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