Greg Olsen one of three finalists for ‘Walter Payton Man of the Year Award’


Greg Olsen #88 of the Carolina Panthers stands on the field before their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — For the second year in a row, Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. 

“It’s a great honor. There are so many guys who do so much for the community, and to be chosen as one of three finalists for the second time is just awesome,” Olsen said in a report by

Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson and Texans defensive end J.J. Watt are the other finalists. The winner will be announced in Minneapolis at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII.

$500,000 will be donated in the name of the 2017 winner. $250,000 will be donated to the winner’s charity of choice and $250,000 will be donated in his name to expand Character Playbook across the country. The two other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity of choice and a $100,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook.

For Olsen, winning Man of the Year would be a special moment for everyone in the congenital heart world, which he has helped through the work of his HEARTest Yard initiative.

“The biggest thing is what it would mean for the all the families that we try to support, the families that we feel we have a voice on behalf of,” Olsen said. “The congenital heart world has really become our flagship program. It’s a very tight-knit group of families that understand the challenges they face when you have a child born with CHD. I’d feel good for them that they’d be put on the map a bit so people would stop for however long to take notice of what a problem this is and how many people go through this.”

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