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Alex Smith Named Chiefs' Nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

Smith was recognized for his extensive work with foster youth on Thursday

Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback Alex Smith was named as the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee on Thursday night.

Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the award recognizes those that best exemplify the NFL's commitment to impacting the community in a positive way.

Smith has been a champion for foster youth throughout his career, supporting 23 foster kids through college as part of his Guardian Scholars Program at San Diego State University. Since coming to Kansas City in 2013, Smith has been active with Cornerstones of Care, a local non-profit, in his mission to help foster youth succeed in life.

To learn more about Smith's story and the dozens of lives he's impacted through The Alex Smith Foundation, his Guardian Scholars Program and Cornerstones of Care, check out Chiefs Reporter BJ Kissel’s story on Smith from last year.

Smith was also Kansas City's nominee last season due to his efforts off the field. His nomination this season will garner a $50,000 donation from the NFL, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide to a charity of his choice.

Of the 32 nominees, three finalists will be selected next month. The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors show on Feb. 3 – the night before Super Bowl LII.  

Following the announcement, the NFL will donate $250,000 to a charity of the winner's choice and an additional $250,000 will be used to expand the league's Character Playbook initiative.  

Originally known as the NFL Man of the Year Award, the honor was renamed in 1999 for the late Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton.

The Chiefs are one of just two teams to have five different players win the award, with Brian Waters (2009), Will Shields (2003), Derrick Thomas (1993), Len Dawson (1973) and Willie Lanier (1972) all receiving the honor.

Only the Chicago Bears, whom Payton played for, have as many recipients of the award.  

To learn more about the award, click here.

A photographic look at Chiefs 2017 Man of the Year Alex Smith and his work in the Kansas City community

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