DREW BREES of the New Orleans Saints is the winner of the 2018 ART ROONEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD, as announced today at NFL Honors. The award recognizes the NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of outstanding sportsmanship on the playing field, including fair play, respect for opponents and integrity in competition.

The announcement of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award was made at NFL HONORS, a two-hour primetime awards special recognizing the NFL’s best players, performances and plays from the 2018 season that will air nationally at 9 PM ET/PT on CBS. The award was founded in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer ART ROONEY, SR.

Brees will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

An 18-year NFL veteran, Brees became the NFL all-time leader in passing yards this season when he eclipsed Peyton Manning’s previous record of 71,940 yards. Earlier in the season, Brees surpassed Brett Favre’s career completion records of 6,300.

The winner of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. Past recipients of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award are LUKE KUECHLY of the Carolina Panthers (2017), FRANK GORE of the Indianapolis Colts (2016), CHARLES WOODSON of the Oakland Raiders (2015) and LARRY FITZGERALD of the Arizona Cardinals (2014).

Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected eight finalists (four in the AFC; four in the NFC) from the 32 nominees. The panel of Legends Coordinators was comprised of WARRICK DUNN, CURTIS MARTIN, and KARL MECKLENBURG.

The eight finalists were listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. From the eight finalists, each team’s players submitted a consensus vote of its choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team could not vote for its own player.

The finalists, featuring four players from each conference, are defensive end CALAIS CAMPBELL (Jacksonville), tight end ANTONIO GATES (Los Angeles Chargers), quarterback ANDREW LUCK (Indianapolis) and safety ERIC WEDDLE (Baltimore) in the AFC, and quarterback DREW BREES (New Orleans), tight end VERNON DAVIS (Washington), tackle JOE STALEY (San Francisco) and cornerback TRAMON WILLIAMS (Green Bay) in the NFC.​

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