Unlike in the past, when three finalists were selected before a recipient was chosen, one player from every NFL team is a finalist. All will be recognized and participate in NFL functions during Super Bowl week. The Man of the Year will be revealed at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press' individual NFL awards are announced, on Feb. 2 in Atlanta.
The Man of the Year is honored for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. It was established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 for the Hall of Fame running back.
"The Man of the Year Award gives us the opportunity to acknowledge 32 exemplary players whose commitment to excellence extends on and off the field," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "This year's nominees have used their platforms to transform communities across the country. We are proud of their work and celebrate their dedication and impact through this award."
A total of $500,000 will be donated in the name of the 2018 recipient, with $250,000 going to Character Playbook, the NFL and United Way's digital character education program. An additional donation of $250,000 will be made to the charity of the winner's choice.
The other 31 finalists will receive a donation of $50,000 in their name to expand Character Playbook, and an additional donation of up to $50,000 to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, United Way Worldwide, and Nationwide, the presenter of the Walter Payton Award.
The five current players who have won the award -- Drew Brees, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and J.J. Watt -- wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys. All 2018 finalists will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning this week through the end of the season.