The recipient of this season’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide will be one of three veteran players with two Super Bowl rings and four Super Bowl appearances between them.
The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors on Feb. 4. Anquan Boldin, then a San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, was last year’s recipient.
Fitzgerald’s foundation, The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund, has provided grants of more than $1 million to promote reading and technology access for students K-12 and to support efforts to prevent and cure breast cancer and support breast cancer survivors. Fitzgerald also promotes vision care for children, to fit people around the world with hearing aids and to visit countries in Africa to promote economic development.
A fervent champion for causes involving children, Manning has served as the Chair of the New York March for Babies with cheap sports jerseys for the past seven years, helping raise over $25 million since. Manning also spearheads “Tackle Kids’ Cancer,” an initiative with Hackensack University Medical Center. In addition, Manning and his wife founded the Eli and Abby Manning Children’s Clinics in 2007, kicking off a five-year fundraising campaign that raised close to $3 million.
The offensive tackle agreed to a four-year, $8.9 million deal with a $4.74 million signing bonus, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
“He’s in a battle to get on the field,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said in an interview that will air on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access on Monday at 7 p.m. ET. “We’ve got two pretty good tackles who played well last year. He’s a young guy who’s got a lot of talent who just has to figure out this college and wholesale jerseys anymore; this is the NFL.”
Peppers has been compared to Arizona Cardinals All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu. An NFC executive projected Peppers as a top-five draft choice in November, while another NFL scout holds him in higher regard as a prospect than the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey, who was the No. 5 overall pick in 2016. NFL clubs with a significant draft need at safety include the Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
College underclassmen face a Jan. 16 deadline to apply for early draft eligibility.
Peppers made 72 tackles, including a team-high 16 for losses on the season for the Wolverines. He did not play in Michigan’s 33-32 Orange Bowl loss to Florida State due to injury. Peppers is undersized (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) to play linebacker at the NFL level, but figures to be a prized selection as a defensive back. On special teams, he returned 10 kickoffs for 260 yards and 21 punts for 310, a 14.8-yard average. He also rushed 27 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns, often on direct snaps from the wildcat formation.
Never one to be short on praise for his top player, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has predicted a 40-yard dash in the 4.3s at the NFL Scouting Combine for Peppers, and suggested his versatility could make him the “Willie Mays of football.”