Thirty-two nominees for Walter Payton award announced

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, Miami's Mike Pouncey and the New York Jets' Brandon Marshall are among the 32 players eligible for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Named for the late Hall of Fame running back, the award recognizes a player's community service and performance on the field. The NFL announced the players on Wednesday.

The winner will receive a $500,000 donation to his favorite charity and $500,000 in his name to support the NFL and United Way's Character Playbook program in his team's market. The program is an initiative launched in April that focuses on youth character development and healthy relationships.

Two of the three finalists will receive a $125,000 contribution to a charity of his choice and $125,000 will go to Character Playbook.

Each team nominates a player, and the remaining 29 players will receive $50,000 to the charity of their choice from the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way, and the same amount for the playbook program in their city.

The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors show on Feb. 4, the night before the Super Bowl, when The Associated Press announces its individual player awards, including MVP.

Anquan Boldin, then with the 49ers, won the award last season.

The nominees:

Arizona -- Fitzgerald

Atlanta -- Matt Ryan

Baltimore -- Steve Smith Sr.

Buffalo -- Eric Wood

Carolina -- Greg Olsen

Chicago -- Sam Acho

Cincinnati -- Andy Dalton

Cleveland -- Joe Thomas

Dallas -- Sean Lee

Denver -- Virgil Green

Detroit -- Don Carey

Green Bay -- Jayrone Elliott

Houston -- Brian Cushing

Indianapolis -- Joe Reitz

Jacksonville -- Julius Thomas

Kansas City -- Alex Smith

Los Angeles -- Johnny Hekker

Miami -- Pouncey

Minnesota -- Chad Greenway

New England -- Rob Gronkowski

New Orleans -- Roman Harper

N.Y. Giants -- Eli Manning

N.Y. Jets -- Marshall

Oakland -- Dan Williams

Philadelphia -- Jon Dorenbos

Pittsburgh -- Arthur Moats

San Diego -- Jeremiah Attaochu

San Francisco -- Torrey Smith

Seattle -- Cliff Avril

Tampa Bay -- Vincent Jackson

Tennessee -- Jurrell Casey

Washington -- Pierre Garcon

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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