Thirty-two players are vying for the 2002 title of NFL Walter Payton Man Of The Year, the only league award that recognizes player off-the-field community service as well as playing excellence. This year's finalists-one player from each NFL team have demonstrated an outstanding balance in their lives between civic and professional responsibilities.
The prestigious award was renamed in 1999 for the legendary Chicago Bears Pro Football Hall of Fame running back. The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award has been given annually since 1970.
The winner is selected by an elite panel of judges including NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, Connie Payton (wife of the late Walter Payton), and former players Frank Gifford, Jack Kemp, John Mackey, and last year's award winner, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis.
The winner will receive $25,000 to donate to his selected charity. Each finalist will receive a $1,000 contribution towards a charity of his choice.
The 2002 Walter Payton Man of the Year winner will be announced during Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's annual news conference January 24 prior to Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, California.
2002 WALTER PAYTON MAN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Arizona Cardinals, Jake Plummer, QB
Atlanta Falcons, Keith Brooking, LB
Baltimore Ravens, Jonathan Ogden, T
Buffalo Bills, Ruben Brown, G
Carolina Panthers, Mike Minter, S
Chicago Bears, Phillip Daniels, DE
Cincinnati Bengals, Willie Anderson, T
Cleveland Browns, Jamel White, RB
Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith, RB
Denver Broncos, Ed McCaffrey, WR
Detroit Lions, Robert Porcher, DE
Green Bay Packers, Donald Driver, WR
Houston Texans, Kris Brown, K
Indianapolis Colts, Tarik Glenn, T
Jacksonville Jaguars, Kyle Brady, TE
Kansas City Chiefs, Tony Richardson, FB
Miami Dolphins, Shawn Wooden, S
Minnesota Vikings, Matt Birk, C
New England Patriots, Troy Brown, WR
New Orleans Saints, Norman Hand, DT
New York Giants, Dhani Jones, LB
New York Jets, Mo Lewis, LB
Oakland Raiders, Roland Williams, TE
Philadelphia Eagles, Troy Vincent, CB
Pittsburgh Steelers, Dewayne Washington, CB
San Diego Chargers, Marcellus Wiley, DE
San Francisco 49ers, Jeff Garcia, QB
Seattle Seahawks, Trent Dilfer, QB
St. Louis Rams, Don Davis, LB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, John Lynch, S
Tennessee Titans, Kevin Carter, DE
Washington Redskins, Eddie Mason, LB