The eight finalists for the 2019 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award have been named, the NFL announced today. The finalists, featuring four players from each conference, are defensive lineman Calais Campbell (Jacksonville), linebacker Thomas Davis (Los Angeles Chargers), wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis) and wide receiver Matthew Slater (New England) in the AFC, and running back Adrian Peterson (Washington), quarterback Matthew Stafford (Detroit), tackle Joe Staley (San Francisco) and safety Eric Weddle (Los Angeles Rams) in the NFC.
Staley is a finalist for the fifth consecutive season, while Campbell and Weddle are finalists for the second straight year. Slater, who is a finalist for the first time, has been nominated for the past three years, and Hilton received nominations in 2017 and 2019. Davis, Sr., Peterson and Stafford are all first-time nominees in 2019.
Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.
A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected the eight finalists from the 32 nominees. The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler. The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players begin voting today.
The winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. From the eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.
The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.
Past recipients of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award:
2018: QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2017: LB Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers
2016: RB Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts
2015: CB Charles Woodson, Oakland Raiders
2014: WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
The winner, selected by the vote of the players, will be announced during the nationally televised NFL Honors show on Saturday, February 1 on FOX, the night before Super Bowl LIV. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He will also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.