Derrick Johnson Nominated for Influential Award by NFL

The Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award is an honor in its second year

The 32 player nominees for the second annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award have been finalized, the NFL announced Wednesday. Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes NFL players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

The Kansas City Chiefs nominee is 11-year linebacker Derrick Johnson.

"It's a big deal," Johnson said. "It's a testament to the way I was raised and having character. Character to me means what you do when no one's looking, on and off the field.

"For me to represent the Chiefs and the guys around me—that means the most to me."

The award was was created last season in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.

The winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community will select eight finalists from the 32 nominees (four in the AFC and four in the NFC). 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 when players vote on December 18. From the eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of its choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

In 2014, the players chose Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald as the inaugural winner of the Art Rooney Award.

The winner selected by the vote of the players will be announced during the nationally televised "5th Annual NFL Honors" show on Saturday, Feb. 6 on CBS, the night before Super Bowl 50. 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.

ART ROONEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD NOMINEES

TEAM

NOMINEE

Arizona Cardinals

DT Calais Campbell

Atlanta Falcons

CB Desmond Trufant

Baltimore Ravens

RB Justin Forsett

Buffalo Bills

QB Tyrod Taylor

Carolina Panthers

LB Luke Kuechly

Chicago Bears

RB Matt Forté

Cincinnati Bengals

LB Vinny Rey

Cleveland Browns

QB Josh McCown

Dallas Cowboys

LB Sean Lee

Denver Broncos

WR Demaryius Thomas

Detroit Lions

WR Calvin Johnson

Green Bay Packers

LB Julius Peppers

Houston Texans

T Duane Brown

Indianapolis Colts

QB Matt Hasselbeck

Jacksonville Jaguars

DT Sen'Derrick Marks

Kansas City Chiefs

LB Derrick Johnson

Miami Dolphins

DT Earl Mitchell

Minnesota Vikings

LB Chad Greenway

New England Patriots

T Nate Solder

New Orleans Saints

TE Benjamin Watson

New York Giants

RB Rashad Jennings

New York Jets

LB David Harris

Oakland Raiders

S Charles Woodson

Philadelphia Eagles

LB DeMeco Ryans

Pittsburgh Steelers

CB William Gay

San Diego Chargers

QB Philip Rivers

San Francisco 49ers

T Joe Staley

Seattle Seahawks

WR Jermaine Kearse

St. Louis Rams

DT Aaron Donald

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DT Gerald McCoy

Tennessee Titans

CB Jason McCourty

Washington Redskins

RB Alfred Morris

A collection of photos from 2015 and the career of Chiefs all-time leading tackler Derrick Johnson.

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