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Sports >  NFL

Watt, Olsen, Watson NFL Man of Year finalists

UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 21, 2018

By Barry Wilner Associated Press

J.J. Watt, Greg Olsen and Benjamin Watson are finalists for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

The recipient of the award that recognizes a player’s contribution in his community and to society in general will be revealed on Feb. 3 at NFL Honors, when the Associated Press announces its individual NFL awards.

Houston defensive end Watt, in his seventh NFL season and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, had the goal of raising $200,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.

His fundraising did a whole lot more, bringing in an incredible $37 million in 19 days. Watt has dedicated himself to finding organizations that will apply the funds in a way he has promised both donors and victims of the storm.

Carolina tight end Olsen, who just finished his 11th pro season, has put together two initiatives, one to fight breast cancer, the other to help youngsters with a congenital heart defect.

Olsen’s mother is a breast cancer survivor, and in 2009 he founded Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation. The Foundation’s “Receiving Hope” focuses on cancer research and education programming.

In early 2013, Greg and his wife Kara founded the HEARTest Yard Fund after a routine examination of their unborn son, T.J., revealed the infant had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). It’s a family service program administered in conjunction with Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.

Baltimore tight end Watson, a 14-year pro, assists countless people through his charitable arm, the One More Foundation.

Most recently, One More partnered with the International Justice Mission (IJM), the world’s largest international anti-slavery organization working to combat human trafficking, modern-day slavery and other forms of violence against the poor. Benjamin and his wife, Kirsten, joined the global fight to end sex trafficking.

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