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The 32 player nominees for the fourth annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award have been finalized, the NFL announced today. Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.
The winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community will select eight finalists (four in the AFC and four in the NFC) from the 32 nominees. The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Marin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.
The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday, December 15. From the eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.
The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.
Past recipients of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award are Frank Gore of the Indianapolis Colts (2016), Charles Woodson of the Oakland Raiders (2015) and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals (2014).
The winner selected by the vote of the players will be announced during the nationally televised NFL Honors show on Saturday, February 3 on NBC, the night before Super Bowl LII. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He will also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.
2017 ART ROONEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD NOMINEES
|Arizona Cardinals||CB Patrick Peterson|
|Atlanta Falcons||S Ricardo Allen|
|Baltimore Ravens||QB Joe Flacco|
|Buffalo Bills||LB Lorenzo Alexander|
|Carolina Panthers||LB Luke Kuechly|
|Chicago Bears||RB Benny Cunningham|
|Cincinnati Bengals||DE Carlos Dunlap|
|Cleveland Browns||T Joe Thomas|
|Dallas Cowboys||C Travis Frederick|
|Denver Broncos||LB Von Miller|
|Detroit Lions||DT Haloti Ngata|
|Green Bay Packers||S Morgan Burnett|
|Houston Texans||P Shane Lechler|
|Indianapolis Colts||WR T.Y. Hilton|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||LB Paul Posluszny|
|Kansas City Chiefs||QB Alex Smith|
|Los Angeles Chargers||TE Antonio Gates|
|Los Angeles Rams||G Rodger Saffold|
|Miami Dolphins||G Jermon Bushrod|
|Minnesota Vikings||DE Brian Robison|
|New England Patriots||WR Matthew Slater|
|New Orleans Saints||QB Drew Brees|
|New York Giants||T Justin Pugh|
|New York Jets||QB Josh McCown|
|Oakland Raiders||QB Derek Carr|
|Philadelphia Eagles||TE Brent Celek|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||DE Cameron Heyward|
|San Francisco 49ers||T Joe Staley|
|Seattle Seahawks||DE Cliff Avril|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||DT Gerald McCoy|
|Tennessee Titans||QB Marcus Mariota|
|Washington Redskins||TE Vernon Davis|