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NFL introduces Walter Payton Man of the Year finalists

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By Keith Schleiden

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The NFL introduced the three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Friday morning. The list of 32 nominees, one from each NFL team, was pared down, with Chiefs OG Brian Waters, Browns WR Mike Furrey and Redskins LB London Fletcher making the final cut.

The winner will be announced on the field prior to the kickoff of Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell presenting the trophy.

On hand to welcome the finalists were Walter Payton's family, including wife Connie, son Jarrett and daughter Brittney.

"Aside from being a time of excitement and anticipation, Super Bowl weekend is also a very special time for the Walter Payton family," said Brittney. "It brings us together to honor those who have been nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of my father's passing and the renaming of the prestigious award. My father proudly received the award in 1977, and our family stands before you honored, as would my father, that this award now bears his name. My dad cherished this award because it recognized him not just for his skill and ability on the football field, but for his commitment to giving back through community service, as well."

The NFL Man of the Year Award was established in 1970, with Johnny Unitas earning the honor. Last year, Cardinals QB Kurt Warner was the winner.

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