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NFL: Walter Payton Man of the Year award nominees announced

By
The Sports Xchange
Baltimore Ravens Steve Smith Sr. celebrates as WR Michael Campanaro scores a 45-yard touchdown against the Saints on August 13, 2015. Smith is among the 32 nominees for the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Baltimore Ravens Steve Smith Sr. celebrates as WR Michael Campanaro scores a 45-yard touchdown against the Saints on August 13, 2015. Smith is among the 32 nominees for the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

The NFL announced the 32 nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

The nominees were named as their team's Man of the Year, the league announced Wednesday. The players, representing the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact, are now eligible to win the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

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The award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field. Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the award, named for the Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back who died in 1999. Finalists will be announced in January 2016.

The winner will be announced during the fifth annual NFL Honors awards show, a two-hour primetime special on CBS airing on Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50.

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 said in a statement. "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."

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The list of team nominees:

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

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