Daily Sports Smile: NFL announces finalists for 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Feb 2, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; The NFL Honors show logo is seen before red carpet arrivals at the Fox Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

The NFL has chosen the eight finalists for the prestigious Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The special honor celebrates a player that best demonstrates qualities of on-field sportsmanship. It also focuses on fair play, respect for the game, opponents and integrity in competition.

On Thursday, the NFL announced the eight finalists. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan headline the list.

They are joined by Houston Texans receiver Brandin Cooks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David, Miami Dolphins defensive back Jason McCourty, San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, New England Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater and Minnesota Vikings receiver Adam Thielen.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of former NFL players. Both Slater and David were nominated for the fourth time.

Since 2014, the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award has been given to a nominee at the end of the season. The award honors the late Pittsburgh Steelers owner.

"I've had the honor of competing with many of the nominees on the list,” Former NFL receiver Larry Fitzgerald said in a press release. "More importantly, I've had the blessing of knowing and building relationships with several of them off the field. The legacy of Mr. Rooney lives on through these men. They represent teamwork, competitiveness, hard work, optimism, and integrity. Congratulations to each of the nominees for this year's Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award."

Fitzgerald was a part of the selection panel. He won the inaugural award during the 2014 season. Past winners include Fitzgerald, Charles Woodson, Frank Gore, Luke Kuechly, Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater.

The winner will be selected by a vote from current NFL players and receive the award during the NFL Honors ceremony on February 10, 2022.