Eight finalists revealed for inaugural NFL Sportsmanship Award

The eight finalists for the inaugural NFL Sportsmanship Award were revealed by the league Monday.

Each team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players who best exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field, including fair play and respect for the game.

A panel of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler, who are all part of the NFL Legends Community, selected the eight finalists from the 32 nominees.

The recipient of the NFL Sportsmanship Award will be determined by a vote of current NFL players. The players will vote on Dec. 19 and the winner will be announced on Saturday, Jan. 31, on NBC, the night before Super Bowl XLIX.

The recipient of the award will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. The winner will also be presented with a trophy that will represent the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game.

The finalists feature four players from each conference. Take a look at the well-deserving candidates and their statistics:

Davis is a 10-year NFL veteran and a stalwart on the Panthers' defense. He's a four-time team captain and is No. 2 on Carolina's all-time tackles list with 705.

Fitzgerald is an 11-year veteran out of Pittsburgh. He is Arizona's all-time leading receiver with 903 receptions for 12,089 yards and 89 touchdowns. Fitzgerald, 31, hails as the youngest receiver to catch 900 passes.

Greenway is the Vikings' all-time leading tackler with 981. He's a two-time Pro Bowler and has led Minnesota in tackles the past six seasons, which is tied for a team record.

Johnson, known as "Megatron," ranks first in Lions history with 10,263 receiving yards and 72 touchdowns. Johnson set the NFL's all-time single-season record with 1,964 receiving yards during the 2012 season.

A 12-year veteran out of USC, Polamalu ranks third in Pittsburgh history with 755 tackles. The safety, who's known for his long hair and aggressive playing style, has led the Steelers to two Super Bowl victories.

A seven-year NFL veteran out of UCLA, Slater is a special teams ace for the Patriots. He has led the Patriots' special teams unit in tackles the past three seasons and is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

Smith was selected No. 1 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft. He has spent the last two seasons with the Chiefs and has led the team to a 19-10 regular-season record.

Ware is a 10-year veteran who spent his first nine years with the Dallas Cowboys before joining the Broncos in 2014. The outside linebacker is a seven-time Pro Bowler and has compiled 127 sacks in his career.

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