Man of the Year Nominees 2016 2 CC Natl Guard CC Alexa CC Jeffery Beale

Charitable giving ranging from children’s health to college scholarships have earned nominations for three National Football League athletes to be the “Walter Payton Man of the Year”.

Each team in the NFL nominates one member who has had a positive impact on his community. Last year’s winner was Carolina Panther’s star Thomas Davis.

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This year’s nominees are San Francisco Forty-Niners wide receiver Anquan Boldin, New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson, and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

Boldin created the “Anquan Boldin (Q81) Foundation” which has provided four-year college scholarships to high school seniors while also improving eduction opportunities for other students.

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Watson’s “Watson One More Foundation” launches charitable initiatives of its own and contributes to existing charities in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Manning has supported several charities including the March of Dimes and the American Red Cross — where he sits on the organization’s “Celebrity Cabinet.” Manning and his wife have also founded the Eli and Abby Manning Children’s Clinics at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Mississippi.

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The winner will be announced February 7, the night before Super Bowl 50. Manning’s brother Peyton, will be playing in the big game the following day as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

The NFL created the Man of the Year award in 1970 to honor players for excellence both on and off the field. It was renamed after Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton following his death in 1999.

Photos: National Guard; Jeffrey Beall, CC; Alexa, CC

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