Fletcher, Furrey, Waters named finalists

Updated: January 24, 2010, 6:53 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mike Furrey and Kansas City Chiefs guard Brian Waters are finalists for the NFL's Man of the Year Award.

The award, named for the late Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, goes annually to the player who combines on-field excellence with off-the-field community service.

This season Fletcher started a curriculum, mentoring program for 25 Washington, D.C., middle school students. The students visited Capitol Hill, talked with congressmen, explored museums, distributed food to local residents and participated in a forum about peer pressure, health and education.

"I'm extremely humbled by being one of the three finalists," Fletcher said. "Each team submits all their individual 'Men of the Year' candidates, so out of 32 players I'm one of three who's been selected to be the Walter Payton Man of the Year, so truly I'm humbled and honored."

Furrey created a foundation and spends time supporting charitable causes. The foundation has created relationships with local kids in the community as well as with more than a dozen charitable organizations. Furrey provides inspiration for children in hospitals, serves as a mentor for kids in children's homes, tackles hunger and nutrition issues, supports neighborhood development and organizes holiday initiatives.

Waters' foundation has awarded 82 college scholarships to low-income students. Children have benefited from his back-to-school program that provides backpacks with school supplies, as well as haircuts, uniforms, shoes, immunizations and dental care.

Recent winners include Kurt Warner of the Cardinals in 2008, Jason Taylor of the Dolphins in 2007, and Drew Brees of the Saints and LaDainian Tomlinson of the Chargers, co-winners in 2006.

The winner will be announced before the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press