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Bengals nominate Andy Dalton for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

This is a well deserved honor for the Bengals quarterback.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Dalton has been announced as the Bengals’ nominee for this year’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

The nominees represent the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact. Each nominated player was selected as his team's Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field and is among the league's most prestigious awards.

Dalton is highly deserving of this award not only for his on-the-field sportsmanship, but for his philanthropic work both in the Cincinnati community and in the Fort Worth, Texas community, where he is from.

Dalton and his wife launched the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation in 2011, when Dalton joined the league and ever since, they’ve grown the organization to make a bigger impact each year. The organization provides daily support, opportunities, resources and life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families in Cincinnati and Fort Worth.

The Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation has raised $2.1 million and has reached the lives of nearly 2.5 million individuals through its signature community outreach programs.

Some of the events that the foundation puts on each year include date night, where the foundation host parents of seriously ill and physically challenged children for a much needed break to focus on strengthening their marriages. Parents are invited to drop off their children for a safe and secure evening hosted by Andy and Jordan that includes music, face painting, Wii gaming, photo booths, an ice cream sundae bar and more. The parents then get to enjoy a quiet, all-expenses-paid private dinner date.

The foundation also puts on a King for a Day event at Kings Island Theme Park where kids get to enjoy the park with an all-expense paid dream day; their parents get to come, too. The Pass It On Fund is another foundation initiative that provides medical equipment to families with seriously ill or physically challenged children who are in financial need.

And, in December, the foundation has a Holiday Hearts event where Andy, Jordan and Santa's elves provide holiday gifts and cheer to children and their families at Cincinnati area children's hospitals. The couple has also created four hubs in hospitals in both Cincinnati and Texas where parents and their families can access entertainment and educational resources during their hospital stays.

Three of the 32 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award nominees will be selected as finalists for the award, named for Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton, who died in 1999. Last year, Bengals nominee Carlos Dunlap was selected as one of the three finalists. Finalists will be announced in January 2017.

The winner will be announced in Houston at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, from 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (ET and PT) on FOX.

"We're proud to honor these outstanding men who represent the NFL's best on and off the field," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Our players have a unique platform to make a difference far beyond the field of play. We salute these individuals who are exemplary in their commitment to making a positive impact in communities across the globe through their dedicated service and philanthropic efforts."

This year, in addition to a donation to a charity of his choice, each nominee will also receive a donation in his name to implement the NFL and United Way's Character Playbook Program in his club's market. Character Playbook, launched in April at the NFL Draft, is a national education initiative focused on youth character development and healthy relationships. As a result of the enhanced contributions, a total of $1 million will be donated in the name of the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, with $500,000 going to a charity of his choice and $500,000 supporting the expansion of Character Playbook across all NFL markets. The two finalists will each receive a $125,000 donation to the charity of their choice and a $125,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook and the additional 29 team winners will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their name to implement Character Playbook in their club market. Donations will be courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.

To further celebrate and promote the 32 nominees, Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the Award, will host the second annual Charity Challenge. As part of the social media challenge, each nominee will have a unique hashtag, and fans will be encouraged to tweet using the player hashtags. The player hashtag that generates the most mentions will win an additional $25,000 donation to his charity of choice, courtesy of Nationwide. Dalton’s hashtag is #DaltonWPMOYChallenge.

Two Bengals are past winners of the league award, quarterback Ken Anderson in 1975 and offensive tackle Anthony Munoz in 1991.

Click here for more information on the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation and here for more info on the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

2016 WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR TEAM NOMINEES

TEAM NOMINEES
Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald
Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan
Baltimore Ravens Steve Smith Sr.
Buffalo Bills Eric Wood
Carolina Panthers Greg Olsen
Chicago Bears Sam Acho
Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton
Cleveland Browns Joe Thomas
Dallas Cowboys Sean Lee
Denver Broncos Virgil Green
Detroit Lions Don Carey
Green Bay Packers Jayrone Elliott
Houston Texans Brian Cushing
Indianapolis Colts Joe Reitz
Jacksonville Jaguars Julius Thomas
Kansas City Chiefs Alex Smith
Los Angeles Rams Johnny Hekker
Miami Dolphins Mike Pouncey
Minnesota Vikings Chad Greenway
New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski
New Orleans Saints Roman Harper
New York Giants Eli Manning
New York Jets Brandon Marshall
Oakland Raiders Dan Williams
Philadelphia Eagles Jon Dorenbos
Pittsburgh Steelers Arthur Moats
San Diego Chargers Jeremiah Attaochu
San Francisco 49ers Torrey Smith
Seattle Seahawks Cliff Avril
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vincent Jackson
Tennessee Titans Jurrell Casey
Washington Redskins Pierre Garçon