ARIZONA CARDINALS

Larry Fitzgerald named Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award finalist

Jan 22, 2017, 3:00 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2017, 11:29 am
In this Oct. 17, 2016, file photo, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) speaks aft...

In this Oct. 17, 2016, file photo, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) speaks after an NFL football game against the New York Jets, in Glendale, Ariz. Fitzgerald, Miami's Mike Pouncey and the New York Jets' Brandon Marshall are among the 32 players eligible for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

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Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is one of three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year honor.

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and Giants quarterback Eli Manning also remain in the running for the award given to NFL stars who go above and beyond in their communities.

“Larry, Eli and Greg are not only top-tier athletes, but also men of great character, integrity and generosity of spirit,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “Their passion for community and helping others is having a positive impact on countless individuals and communities, and it’s something we should all celebrate” . “We commend these impressive men for setting the standard for NFL players and athletes nationwide.”

For the winner of the award, which will be announced Feb. 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, $1 million will be donated. Half will go to a charity of the winner’s choosing, while another $500,000 will be donated to the expansion of Character Playbook, a joint educational project between the NFL and United Way.

The two runner-ups will each receive $125,000 to give to a charity of their choice and another $125,000 to Character Playbook.

Fitzgerald finds himself in the running for the honor thanks to his charitable work in Arizona and in Minnesota.

Fitzgerald’s foundation, The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund, has provided grants of more than $1 million to promote reading and technology access for students K-12 and to support efforts to prevent and cure breast cancer and support breast cancer survivors. Fitzgerald has also teamed with national and international charities to serve as a volunteer to promote vision care for children, to fit people around the world with hearing aids and to visit countries in Africa to promote economic development.

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