Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning, and Greg Olsen named Walter Payton Man of the Year finalists

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: The Walter Payton Man of the Year trophy sits on a table during the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year Finalist press conference prior to Super Bowl 50 at the Moscone Center West on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – No matter what the season, the legend of “Sweetness” always has a major impact on the National Football League.

Memories of Walter Payton are always on the minds of Chicago sports fans since the running back is arguably the greatest player in the history of the franchise. NFL players have similar recollections of ball carrier while at the same time

NFL players have similar recollections of ball carrier while at the same time hoping to be worthy of having their name mentioned with Payton during Super Bowl weekend.

The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award honors the player in the league who exemplifies excellence both on and off the field. This year the three players vying for the honor are Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.

“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 released by the league. “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.”

The winner will be announced at the annual NFL Awards at the Wortham Theatre Center in Houston, Texas on February 4th – the day before Super Bowl LI.

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