As much a force for destruction on the field as he is a force for good off the field, Texans DE J. J. Watt has the respect of nearly everyone he meets.
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The NFL has announced its nominees for the first ever NFL Sportsmanship Award, commending sportsmanship on and off the field. Texans DE J.J. Watt, Lions WR Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, Steelers Safety Troy Polamalu and Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald are among the iconic names that have been nominated for the award this season.
Each team nominates one player to be up for the honor, with the final eight to be selected by a panel of former players. The eight finalists will be included on the Pro Bowl ballot, with the final vote commencing on December 19th. The same rules apply to this vote as in the Pro Bowl, teams cannot vote for their own players.
The final winner will be selected during the televised “NFL Honors” show on January 31st, the night before Super Bowl XLIX.
A $25,000 donation will be made to the winner’s charity of choice.
Here are the 32 nominees for the NFL Sportsmanship Award:
Arizona Cardinals: WR Larry Fitzgerald
Atlanta Falcons: RB Steven Jackson
Baltimore Ravens: WR Torrey Smith
Buffalo Bills: WR Chris Hogan
Cincinnati Bengals: CB Terence Newman
Carolina Panthers: LB Thomas Davis
Chicago Bears: RB Matt Forte
Cleveland Browns: CB Joe Haden
Dallas Cowboys: TE Jason Witten
Denver Broncos: DE DeMarcus Ware
Detroit Lions: WR Calvin Johnson
Green Bay Packers: WR Jordy Nelson
Houston Texans: DE J.J. Watt
Indianapolis Colts: WR T.Y. Hilton
Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Roy Miller III
Kansas City Chiefs: QB Alex Smith
Miami Dolphins: DE Cameron Wake
Minnesota Vikings: LB Chad Greenway
New England Patriots: WR/ST Matthew Slater
New Orleans Saints: WR Marques Colston
New York Giants: LB Jameel McClain
New York Jets: T D’Brickashaw Ferguson
Oakland Raiders: S Charles Woodson
Philadelphia Eagles: LB Connor Barwin
Pittsburgh Steelers: S Troy Polamalu
San Diego Chargers: TE Antonio Gates
San Francisco 49ers: LB Patrick Willis
Seattle Seahawks: LB K.J. Wright
St. Louis Rams: DE Robert Quinn
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Gerald McCoy
Tennessee Titans: S George Wilson
Washington: S Ryan Clark