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Payton Award Finalists: Fitzgerald, Thomas, Witten

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NEW YORK (AP) — Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns and Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys are finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

The award will be presented in New Orleans, when The Associated Press announces the winners of its annual NFL honors, including Most Valuable Player, in a two-hour prime-time special on Super Bowl eve.

The show, “NFL Honors,” will be broadcast on CBS on Feb. 2 at 9 p.m.

The only league award that recognizes a player’s community service as well as his playing excellence, the Walter Payton winner will have a $20,000 donation made in his name to his favorite charity.

Fitzgerald, Thomas and Witten were chosen from among the 32 team nominees, all of whom receive a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice. The three finalists will receive an additional $5,000 donation in their name.

The selection panel includes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Connie Payton, widow of the Hall of Fame running back.

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