Larry Fitzgerald, Joe Thomas, Jason Witten Named Finalists For Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED AT NFL HONORS BEFORE SUPER BOWL XLVII

Three community-minded NFL players will be recognized during Super Bowl week as finalists for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD, it was announced today. LARRY FITZGERALD of the Arizona Cardinals, JOE THOMAS of the Cleveland Browns and JASON WITTEN of the Dallas Cowboys are the top candidates for this year’s award, named for the legendary Bears running back who died in 1999.

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the only league award that recognizes a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence.

The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will be announced in New Orleans, the site of Super Bowl XLVII, during the second annual NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Saturday, February 2, from  9-11 p.m. ET on CBS.

Recent winners of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award include MATT BIRK of the Baltimore Ravens, MADIEU WILLIAMS, then of the Minnesota Vikings (2010) and  BRIAN WATERS, then of the Kansas City Chiefs (2009). (Complete lists of players nominated for this year’s award and previous winners are below).

The three finalists were chosen from among the 32 team nominees for the award, all of whom receive a $1,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to the charity of their choice. The three finalists will receive an additional $5,000 donation in their name. The selection panel is comprised of NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL, former NFL Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE, CONNIE PAYTON, Pro Football Hall of Fame members FRANK GIFFORD and ANTHONY MUÑOZ, 2011 winner MATT BIRK, and Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King.

The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will receive the Gladiator statue, an original art creation by the noted sculptor, DANIEL SCHWARTZ.  In addition, the player’s favorite charity will receive an additional $20,000 donation in his name.

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