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Saints nominate Benjamin Watson for NFL's Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

The award was created last season in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer ART ROONEY, SR.

New Orleans Saints TE Benjamin Watson is one of 32 player nominees for the second annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award have been finalized, the NFL announced.

Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes NFL players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.

The award was created last season 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 from the 32 nominees eight finalists (four in the AFC; four in the NFC). The panel is comprised of WARRICK DUNN, CURTIS MARTIN, KARL MECKLENBURG and LEONARD WHEELER.

The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award when players vote on December 18. From the eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of its 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.

In 2014, the players chose LARRY FITZGERALD of the Arizona Cardinals as the inaugural winner of the Art Rooney Award.

The winner selected by the vote of the players will be announced during the nationally televised "5th Annual NFL Honors" show on Saturday, February 6 on CBS, the night before Super Bowl 50. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He 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.

NFL's Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award nominees

Arizona Cardinals - DT Calais Campbell
Atlanta Falcons - CB Desmond Trufant
Baltimore Ravens - RB Justin Forsett
Buffalo Bills - QB Tyrod Taylor
Carolina Panthers - LB Luke Kuechly
Chicago Bears - RB Matt Forté
Cincinnati Bengals - LB Vinny Rey
Cleveland Browns - QB Josh McCown
Dallas Cowboys - LB Sean Lee
Denver Broncos - WR Demaryius Thomas
Detroit Lions - WR Calvin Johnson
Green Bay Packers - LB Julius Peppers
Houston Texans - T Duane Brown
Indianapolis Colts - QB Matt Hasselbeck
Jacksonville Jaguars - DT Sen'Derrick Marks
Kansas City Chiefs - LB Derrick Johnson
Miami Dolphins - DT Earl Mitchell
Minnesota Vikings - LB Chad Greenway
New England Patriots - T Nate Solder
New Orleans Saints - TE Benjamin Watson
New York Giants - RB Rashad Jennings
New York Jets - LB David Harris
Oakland Raiders - S Charles Woodson
Philadelphia Eagles - LB DeMeco Ryans
Pittsburgh Steelers - CB William Gay
San Diego Chargers - QB Philip Rivers
San Francisco 49ers - T Joe Staley
Seattle Seahawks - WR Jermaine Kearse
St. Louis Rams - DT Aaron Donald
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DT Gerald McCoy
Tennessee Titans - CB Jason McCourty
Washington Redskins - RB Alfred Morris

Photos of Benjamin Watson vs the New York Giants. Photos by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)

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