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NFL Honors

From NFL Communications, these are all stories on NFL post-season awards for Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Russell Wilson, Jason Witten and Charles Tillman.

Leon Halip


Denver and Minneapolis Junior Achievement Offices to Each Receive $25,000 Grants from FedEx in Honor of Winning Players

NEW ORLEANS, (February 2, 2013) – NFL fans have spoken, selecting Denver Broncos quarterback PEYTON MANNING and Minnesota Vikings running back ADRIAN PETERSON as the FEDEX AIR & GROUND® NFL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR. The 10th annual awards, announced during the"2nd annual NFL Honors" show tonight in New Orleans, are a culmination of weekly awards presented by FedEx (NYSE: FDX) throughout the NFL season that gives football fans the ability to honor stand-out quarterback and running back performances each week while earning charitable donations for the winning players’ cities.

· Denver’s Peyton Manning registered single-season franchise bests in passing yards (4,659), touchdown passes (37) and passer rating (105.8) in his first season with the Broncos. Manning’s 37 touchdown passes and 105.8 passer rating led the AFC in 2012. In Week 17, Manning posted his 73rd career game with three or more touchdown passes, moving past BRETT FAVRE (72) for the most in NFL history. He surpassed the 4,000 yard mark for the 12th time in his career to expand his NFL record for 4,000-yard seasons. Manning, who was selected as the AFC’s starting quarterback for the 2013 Pro Bowl, led the Broncos to a 13-3 record and an AFC West crown. He was nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week five times, winning once. Manning has been named FedEx Air Player of the Year twice before (2003, 2004).

  • Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson rushed his way into the history books finishing the year with 2,097 yards rushing, second-most in league history and just nine yards shy of breaking Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON’s NFL record (2,105). Peterson, who was second in the NFL in carries (348), tied EARL CAMPBELL for the most games with at least 150 rushing yards in a single season (seven). He scored 12 touchdowns on the ground and led the NFL in yards per game (131.1). Peterson accumulated 1,313 yards in eight games (Weeks 7 through 15), the most over any eight-game span in a single season in NFL history. Selected as the NFC’s starting running back for the 2013 Pro Bowl, Peterson was nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week seven times, winning three times. This is the second time Peterson has been named FedEx Ground Player of the Year (2008).

Manning and Peterson were selected from a panel of three finalists in each of their respective Air and Ground categories. The other FedEx Air NFL Players of the Year finalists were quarterbacks TOM BRADY of the New England Patriots and AARON RODGERS of the Green Bay Packers, while the FedEx Ground NFL Players of the Year finalists included running backs MARSHAWN LYNCH of the Seattle Seahawks and ALFRED MORRIS of the Washington Redskins.

In honor of the winners’ outstanding play, FedEx is donating $50,000 to the Junior Achievement USA offices in Denver and Minneapolis-- $25,000 in each player’s market – designated to help educate the next generation of entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their own businesses. In addition, as part of the Air & Ground program, FedEx made weekly donations of $2,000 to Junior Achievement in each of the winning players’ names.



Wilson Wins Fan Vote On

Seattle Seahawks QB RUSSELL WILSON is the 2012 PEPSI MAX NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, Pepsi MAX and the National Football League announced tonight at "2nd Annual NFL Honors" – a star-studded football and entertainment event saluting the best players, performances and plays from the 2012 season. "2nd Annual NFL Honors" airs nationally on Saturday, February 2, 9-11 pm (ET) on CBS.

Selected in the third round out of Wisconsin, Wilson caught the eye of head coach PETE CARROLL and Seahawks fans alike for his proficient play in the preseason, thus propelling him into the starting role for all 16 regular season games. Relying on his arm and legs, Wilson led the Seahawks to 11 wins and back into the playoffs. He finished the season throwing for 3,118 yards, 26 touchdowns and a 100.0 passer rating which was fourth best in the NFL. Wilson’s 26 touchdown passes tied the NFL’s single season record by a rookie set in 1998 by PEYTON MANNING. The Seahawks finished the year 8-0 at home which established Wilson as the first rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era to lead his team to an undefeated home record. He was nominated for Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week eight times, winning the award once.

Wilson was one of five finalists up for the honor. The other finalists were Washington Redskins QB ROBERT GRIFFIN III, Indianapolis Colts QBANDREW LUCK, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB DOUG MARTIN and Washington Redskins RB ALFRED MORRIS.

The five finalists were selected for their outstanding performances throughout the 2012 NFL season. Each week, five nominees were chosen for the Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL fans voted for the winner on Those results were used to help determine the finalists.

This is Pepsi’s eleventh year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the eleventh year that Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Year award.



JASON WITTEN of the Dallas Cowboys was named the 2012 WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR, it was announced today. The award recognizes a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence.

The announcement was made during the second annual NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special that will air nationally from 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on CBS tonight.

JARRETT AND BRITTNEY PAYTON, the late Walter Payton’s children, will honor Witten on-field tomorrow before kickoff of Super Bowl XLVII.

"I am extremely flattered to be chosen the 2012 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year from such an esteemed group of nominees," said Witten. "I work hard every day not only to be a success on the football field and a credit to my team – but to be a good husband, father, son, grandson, teammate – to be the kind of man that is as respected as Walter Payton was. Like others before me, I have a great opportunity as an NFL player to make a difference in the lives of others. It is honestly humbling to be recognized in such a manner for simply doing what I feel is right and human. I am fortunate to have a great support system in my family, the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL which allows me to make an impact in the communities and with people who love our game."

Through 10 seasons, Jason Witten as emerged as the Dallas Cowboys most prolific pass catcher while becoming one of the best tight ends in NFL history. An eight-time Pro Bowler, Witten is just as passionate and successful off the field as he is on game day, and his career has been characterized by a sincere and genuine interest in giving back to the community where he resides and the community that raised him.

Since becoming a Cowboy in 2003, Witten has been actively involved with many non-profit organizations. He serves as the Dallas Cowboys spokesman for NFL PLAY 60 and, through his own charitable endeavor, Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation (JWSF), has launched numerous programs and funded several building projects in Texas and his native Tennessee.

The JWSF SCOREkeepers program has placed full-time, trained male mentors in six battered women’s shelters throughout Texas in an effort to break the cycle of violence that plagues families affected by abuse. The foundation’s newest domestic violence prevention program called "Coaching Boys Into Men" trains high school coaches to educate their players on the dangers of dating violence.

The Wittens make giving back a family affair, involving their children in the team’s early Thanksgiving Day meal at the Salvation Army and underwriting the Dallas Cowboys Women’s Association’s Christmas of Giving, benefiting families from The Family Place. His annual football camp in Tennessee hosts approximately 1,200 youth each year and is one of the largest free football camps in the country.

Witten joins an esteemed list of winners of the annual award, including 17 Pro Football Hall of Famers. Recent winners of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award include MATT BIRK of the Baltimore Ravens, MADIEU WILLIAMS, then of the Minnesota Vikings (2010) and BRIAN WATERS, then of the Kansas City Chiefs (2009).

All 32 team nominees for the award receive a $1,000 donation from NFL Foundation to the charity of their choice. The three Man of the Year finalists received an additional $5,000 donation in their name. The selection panel is comprised of NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL, former NFL Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE, CONNIE PAYTON, Pro Football Hall of Fame members FRANK GIFFORD and ANTHONY MUÑOZ, 2011 winnerMATT BIRK, and Sports Illustrated football writer PETER KING.

The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will receive the Gladiator statue, an original art creation by the noted sculptor, DANIEL SCHWARTZ. In addition, the player’s favorite charity will receive a $20,000 donation in his name.

Chicago Bears Charles Tillman Named 2012 Salute to Service Award Winner

Tillman’s support of the military and their families recognized at NFL Honors event in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – The NFL awarded Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman this evening with the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA, the League’s Official Military Appreciation Sponsor. The award was created to acknowledge the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support U.S. service members and veterans.

Tillman accepted the award at the "2nd Annual NFL Honors" award ceremony and gala in New Orleans and as part of the award, USAA will contribute $25,000 in Tillman’s honor to the aid societies representing all five military branches.

"The military has played an influential part in my life," said Tillman. "Throughout my dad's 20 years of service, he learned about teamwork, leadership and commitment, and he taught me those same values. I'm thankful not only for what the military has done for me, but for what the members of our military sacrifice for this country. I appreciate the men and women of the United States Army, Air Force, Marine Corp, Navy and Coast Guard for protecting our homeland. The next time you pass a soldier, sailor, marine or airman on the street, kindly walk up to them and say, 'Thank you for your time and service.' I am honored to be the recipient of the 2012 Salute to Service Award."

Familiarity and respect for the military community came to Tillman quickly in his early years. His father, retired Army Sgt. Donald Tillman Jr., served 20 years, and his childhood experience sparked the cornerback’s desire to give back to the men and women who serve our country—an ongoing effort that sees him continuing to engage with service members, veterans and their families throughout his 10 year NFL career.

Tillman participated in an eight day USO tour in Iraq and Kuwait after personally contacting the U.S. Army in 2010. He visited Camp Victory, Camp Buehring and Joint Base Balad, signing photos and sports memorabilia and sharing dinner with troops.

During the Bears bye week this season, Tillman flew to Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas, to provide critically-ill children and their families with access to notebook computers, DVD players, digital cameras and MP3 players to help pass the time during recovery as part of his charity’s Charles’ Locker program. He also regularly conducts youth football camps on military bases, including the Army’s Fort Hood and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms in California. At the 2013 Pro Bowl, Tillman and fellow NFL players visited Schofield Army Barracks to greet wounded warriors who recently returned from an extended deployment in Afghanistan.

In October 2012, 23 coaches, active and retired players, and team executives and personnel were nominated for the award by their clubs for demonstrating outstanding support for the military community. Each submission was evaluated by a panel of judges from the NFL and USAA, including NFL greats Roger Staubach, Chad Hennings, Rocky Bleier and Jim Mora Sr. Earlier this year, the panel named both Tillman and Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik finalists before officially naming Tillman the 2012 award winner. Tennessee Titans owner K.S. "Bud" Adams was the award’s inaugural recipient in 2011.

"Each Salute to Service Award nominee exemplifies the spirit of what we’re trying to accomplish with the NFL, which is to inspire football fans to support and salute all veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Steve Speakes, executive vice president of external affairs for USAA. "We congratulate Charles Tillman for being the 2012 Salute to Service Award winner, and thank him for his support of the military community."

About USAA

USAA provides insurance and more to 9.4 million members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military – and their families. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership,