NFL announces Walter Payton Man of Year award nominees

The NFL on Thursday announced the 32 nominees for the Walter Payton Man of Year award.

The award recognizes players’ outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. This year’s winner will be announced on Feb. 2. 

“The Man of the Year Award gives us the opportunity to acknowledge 32 exemplary players whose commitment to excellence extends on and off the field,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “This year’s nominees have used their platforms to transform communities across the country. We are proud of their work and celebrate their dedication and impact through this award.”

The five current players who have won the award, including Drew Brees, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and J.J. Watt, still wear a Man of the Year patch on their jersey. The 2018 nominees will don a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning Week 14 through the end of the season in recognition of their achievements.

2018 Walter Payton Man of Year award nominees

Arizona Cardinals S Antoine Bethea

Atlanta Falcons DT Grady Jarrett

Baltimore Ravens CB Brandon Carr

Buffalo Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander

Carolina Panthers DE Julius Peppers

Chicago Bears TE Trey Burton

Cincinnati Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap

Cleveland Browns LB Christian Kirksey

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford

Green Bay Packers NT Kenny Clark

Houston Texans LB Whitney Mercilus

Indianapolis Colts DE Jabaal Sheard

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles

Kansas City Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt

Los Angeles Chargers DT Corey Liuget

Los Angeles Rams OT Andrew Whitworth

Miami Dolphins WR Kenny Stills

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph

New England Patriots S Devin McCourty

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram

New York Giants S Michael Thomas

New York Jets OT Kelvin Beachum

Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch

Philadelphia Eagles DE Chris Long

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Cameron Heyward

San Francisco 49ers K Robbie Gould

Seattle Seahawks LB K.J. Wright

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy

Tennessee Titans DT Jurrell Casey

Washington Redskins TE Vernon Davis