NEW YORK — J.J. Watt, Malcolm Jenkins, Greg Olsen and Alex Smith are among the 32 nominees for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award given by the NFL.

Each team nominates one man for the award, which honors a player’s work away from the game and his demeanor during play.

A selection panel is asked to vote for players based on involvement in the community and performance on the playing field.

Finalists are announced in January during halftime of the AFC championship game. The winner will be revealed at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press announces its individual award winners, on the night before the Super Bowl.

The panel consists of Commissioner Roger Goodell; NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson; Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson, who won the award in 2006; last year’s winners, Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning; representatives from NBC, Fox, CBS and ESPN; two national sports writers; Connie Payton, Walter’s widow; the CEO of United Way Worldwide; and the CMO of Nationwide, which is the presenting sponsor of the award.


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