The list of candidates for the NFL's Water Payton Man of the Year Award has been trimmed to three players. On Sunday, the NFL announced that J.J. Watt of the Texans, Greg Olsen of the Panthers, and Benjamin Watson of the Ravens are the three finalists for the league's most prestigious off-the-field award.
"Greg, Benjamin and J.J. have changed countless lives with their generosity and commitment to helping others," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, per NFL.com. "As remarkable leaders on and off the field, they personify the character of the late Walter Payton. We commend them for using their platforms to leave a positive impact on communities across the country."
According to NFL.com, the winner will receive a $500,000 donation in his name that will be spread evenly across a charity of his choice and Character Playbook. The two runner-ups will each get a $100,000 donation in their name to a charity of their choice and another $100,000 to Character Playbook.
Watt, who missed most of the season with a broken leg, found a way to make an impact in Houston by wasn't even in the million-dollar range. Watt also helped distribute supplies throughout the city. For his efforts, Watt . Now, he has a chance to take home another award for his efforts.even though his initial fundraising goal
Humbled & honored to even be mentioned in the same breath as Walter Payton. Also happy to share the nomination with @BenjaminSWatson and @gregolsen88 who are both extremely deserving. This is so much bigger than just one man. It’s about the good in all of humanity.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 21, 2018
Olsen founded Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation, which includes the HEARTest Yard Fund. The foundation provides "hospitals, doctors and scholars resources to better the lives of those affected by cancer" while the fund "provides families of babies affected by congenital heart disease with a multitude of services including in-home, private nursing care, physical therapy and speech therapy among other benefits."
Benjamin founded the One More Foundation. Its mission is to "simply be a blessing to those around us wherever we are, whether that's supporting existing charities or initiating programs of our own."
Last year, Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald split the award. You can see the complete list of past winners here.