Eli Manning has 2 to beat out for NFL Man of the Year

Eli Manning is one step closer to earning a prestigious award that no Giants player has ever won. He is one of three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes an NFL player for excellence on and off the field.

The award, presented by Nationwide, was established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Bears running back.

Every NFL team nominates one player who has made a significant impact in his community. Manning has been the Giants’ Man of the Year every season from 2007 to 2013. The two other finalists for the award are 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin and Saints tight end Benjamin Watson. The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors awards show Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50.

“My dad [Archie] played at the same time as Walter Payton, and he has some stories and always talked about what a great person he was,” Manning said last month. “He was a prankster and just a joy to be around and worked extremely hard, and my dad has only great things to say about him. From everything wonderful I’ve heard about him, it’s an honor to receive this award for the Giants team. I’m proud of the work I do, on and off the field.”

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