*The NFL has announced team nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, presented by Nationwide: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Few NFL players combine excellence on the field with consistent and numerous contributions in the community as well as Eli Manning. The league recognized that again today when it announced that Manning is the Giants' 2016 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee. It is the seventh time – and third consecutive season - he has been cited.
The Man of the Year Award is presented by Nationwide.
Manning is the embodiment of the award, which is given to the player on each team who is outstanding on game day while aiding numerous causes and organizations out of uniform.
Each of the 32 teams has a Man of the Year who is eligible to win the league award. Last year, Manning was one of three finalists, along with wide receiver Anquan Boldin (then with San Francisco, now with Detroit) and tight end Benjamin Watson (then with New Orleans, now on injured reserve with Baltimore). Boldin received the Man of the Year Award.
The 2016 finalists will be announced next month. 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, on FOX.
No Giants player has been named the league's Man of the Year in the 46-year history of the award. Manning was also named the Giants' Man of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.
The award is named for Pro Football Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, who died in 1999.
"My dad (Archie) played at the same time as Walter Payton, and has some stories and always talked about what a great person he was," Manning said. "He was a prankster and just a joy to be around and worked extremely hard and my dad has only great things to say about him. From everything wonderful I've heard about him, it's an honor to receive this award for the Giants team. I'm proud about the work I do, on and off the field."
This season, his 13th with the Giants, Manning has completed 285 of 452 passes (for a career high-tying 63.1 completion percentage) for 3,097 yards, 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He is one of just four quarterbacks in history with 12 consecutive 3,000-yard seasons. The Giants are 8-4 entering their game Sunday night against the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys.
Off the field, Manning is immersed in numerous charitable and community endeavors, as he has been since his career at the University of Mississippi and here since he joined the Giants in 2004.
Some of his most notable work has been with the March of Dimes, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, The Robin Hood Foundation, the American Red Cross, and the Eli and Abby Manning Children's Clinics at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Miss. It is the only hospital in the state devoted exclusively to the care and treatment of sick and injured youngsters. More than 150,000 children from the state's 82 counties come to Children's Hospital each year.
Eli and Abby made a five-year commitment to raise $2.5 million for the clinics.
Photos of Giants QB Eli Manning making a difference in the community
"I think we ended up raising $3 million in five years, and the clinics are up and running, and doing great," he said. "So that's been very rewarding. We still continue to help out with the hospital, and we have a Manning fund down there to kind of just help with the overall hospital. It's still important to give back to Mississippi, it's an important part of my life."
One of his newest prominent endeavors is his work with Tackle Kids Cancer through Hackensack University Medical Center.
"It's great just to have the chance to see some of the amazing kids that are going through that fight," Manning said. "Seeing little kids with cancer, their attitude toward it, the smile on their face and the belief that they're going to beat it and get through it. I've worked with the doctors and the nurses and everyone there. Their belief also that they're going to get these kids through it, it's unbelievable. I'm just thrilled with the work we're doing, the research and the fact that some of these kids are surviving and living healthy, long lives after beating cancer."
Manning also does numerous good work that goes unpublicized, such as regularly meeting with children who visit Giants practices through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"A lot of these charities are something I've been involved in since I got up here," Manning said. "So it's just kind of become part of my world."
And made him a well-deserved seven-time selection as the Giants' Man of the Year.