Although the Green Bay Packers have three weeks left in their playoff push, one player has earned acclaim already as one of the “good guys” of the NFL. This week, the league announced the nominees for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award for the 2016 season, and one Packer is among the eight finalists: linebacker Julius Peppers.
Peppers is in his fifteenth NFL season and third with the Packers, and he recently passed Michael Strahan for fifth all-time in career sacks. He was chosen as the Packers’ nominee earlier this season, and the 32 nominees were cut down to a group of eight finalists by a panel of former NFL players.
This is the third year of the award’s existence. Last year, former Packers defensive back Charles Woodson was chosen for the award.
The bulk of the finalists are players who have carried on lengthy NFL careers; in fact, linebacker Brian Cushing is the only player among the eight who has been in the NFL for fewer than ten years. Peppers, on the other hand, is the elder statesman in this group, as the other six finalists have between ten and twelve years in the NFL.
The award winner will be announced during the NFL Honors, held on the eve of the Super Bowl this February.