Brees wins Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Atlanta, Ga. — Saints quarterback Drew Brees was recognized by the league Saturday as the winner of the 2018 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The award, which is voted-on by current NFL players, goes to the player they think “best demonstrates the qualities of outstanding sportsmanship on the playing field, including fair play, respect for opponents and integrity in competition.” Along with the hardware and recognition, Brees will also get a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to go toward any charity that he chooses.

The process started by each NFL team nominating one of their players for the award, then a panel of former players selected 8 finalists– 4 from each conference. From there, each NFL team submitted a consensus vote for one of the 8 finalists, but could not vote for their own player if he was among the finalists. Brees beat-out Calais Campbell (DE, Jaguars), Antonio Gates (TE, Chargers), Andrew Luck (QB, Colts), Eric Weddle (S, Ravens), Vernon Davis (TE, Redskins), Joe Staley (T, 49ers) and Tramon Williams (CB, Packers).

The award, which is named for the late Pro Bowl Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr., was founded in 2014. Past winners include Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (2017), Colts running back Frank Gore (2016), Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson (2015) and Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald who won the first Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award in 2014.

Brees’s award was one of many handed-out Saturday night at the annual NFL Honors ceremony in Atlanta. Here’s a list of the other NFL players receiving recognition:

AP Most Valuable Player presented by Pizza Hut Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs
AP Coach of the Year Matt Nagy Chicago Bears
AP Comeback Player of the Year presented by Castrol Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts
AP Offensive Player of the Year presented by Microsoft Surface Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs
AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald Los Angeles Rams
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley New York Giants
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year presented by Old Spice Darius Leonard Indianapolis Colts
AP Assistant Coach of the Year Vic Fangio Denver Broncos
Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award Drew Brees New Orleans Saints
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year presented by Nationwide Chris Long Philadelphia Eagles
Deacon Jones Award Aaron Donald Los Angeles Rams
FedEx Air Player of the Year Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs
FedEx Ground Player of the Year Saquon Barkley New York Giants
Salute To Service Award Presented by USAA Ben Garland Atlanta Falcons
Bridgestone Clutch Performance Play of the Year Miami Dolphins – Miami Miracle
Courtyard Unstoppable Performance of the Year Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams
Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Year Los Angeles Rams Offensive Line
Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award Gabe Infante St. Joseph’s Preparatory School
Celebration of the Year Seattle Seahawks “Choreography”
Moment of the Year Arron Rodgers Return
Game Changer presented by Gillette Shaquem Griffin


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