Ricardo Allen nominated for Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award 

Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen has been nominated for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, according to the Associated Press. 

Also, Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett, who played at North Clayton High and Georgia Tech, and Pittsburgh defensive end Cameron Heyward, who played at Whitefield Academy and Peachtree Ridge High, were nominated. 

The award, now in its fourth year, honors the founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The award is presented to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

One player from each team is nominated by current NFL players. A panel of former players selects eight finalists, four from each conference. That panel includes Hall of Famer Curtis Martin, Warrick Dunn, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.

Those eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot when players vote on Dec. 15. As for the Pro Bowl, a team can't vote for its own player.

The award will be presented on Feb. 3, the night before the Super Bowl, at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press hands out its individual league awards. The recipient will receive a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice.

Past winners have been Larry Fitzgerald, Charles Woodson and Frank Gore.

The nominees:

Arizona Cardinals, CB, Patrick Peterson

Atlanta Falcons, S, Ricardo Allen

Baltimore Ravens, QB, Joe Flacco

Buffalo Bills, LB, Lorenzo Alexander

Carolina Panthers, LB, Luke Kuechly

Chicago Bears, RB, Benny Cunningham

Cincinnati Bengals, DE, Carlos Dunlap

Cleveland Browns, T, Joe Thomas

Dallas Cowboys, C, Travis Frederick

Denver Broncos, LB, Von Miller

Detroit Lions, DT, Haloti Ngata

Green Bay Packers, S, Morgan Burnett

Houston Texans, P, Shane Lechler

Indianapolis Colts, WR, T.Y. Hilton

Jacksonville Jaguars, LB, Paul Posluszny

Kansas City Chiefs, QB, Alex Smith

Los Angeles Chargers, TE, Antonio Gates

Los Angeles Rams, G, Rodger Saffold

Miami Dolphins, G, Jermon Bushrod

Minnesota Vikings, DE, Brian Robison

New England Patriots, WR, Matthew Slater

New Orleans Saints, QB, Drew Brees

New York Giants, T, Justin Pugh

New York Jets, QB, Josh McCown

Oakland Raiders, QB. Derek Carr

Philadelphia Eagles, TE, Brent Celek

Pittsburgh Steelers, DE, Cameron Heyward

San Francisco 49ers, T, Joe Staley

Seattle Seahawks, DE, Cliff Avril

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DT, Gerald McCoy

Tennessee Titans, QB, Marcus Mariota

Washington Redskins, TE, Vernon Davis


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

With draft a month away, Falcons to use secret weapon 
With draft a month away, Falcons to use secret weapon 

As they prepare for the NFL draft, the Falcons have a secret weapon.  Thanks to owner Arthur Blank’s private airplane, team officials can zip around the country, checking out prospects, interviewing them and holding team-specific private workouts. On March 14, general manager Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Dan Quinn and defensive coordinator...
Falcons sign tight end Logan Paulsen to one-year deal 
Falcons sign tight end Logan Paulsen to one-year deal 

The Falcons signed tight end Logan Paulsen to a one-year contract on Wednesday.  Paulsen, 31, will be expected to fill a role as a blocking tight end, replacing Levine Toilolo, who was released in March. Paulsen, who’s 6-foot-5 and 264 pounds, has played in 105 games and made 55 starts. He has caught just 82 passes for 816 yards and six...
Late-bloomer Wims turns in strong Pro Day 
Late-bloomer Wims turns in strong Pro Day 

Former Georgia wide receiver Javon Mims, a classic later-bloomer, had a strong showing at the school’s Pro Day on Wednesday. Before his fine senior season, Wims was not on the NFL’s draft radar.  “I came out here and showed pretty much my whole skill set,” said Wims, who worked out in front of all 32 teams and four NFL...
Watch: Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff at UGA Pro Day
Watch: Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff at UGA Pro Day

The Falcons were well-represented at Georgia’s Pro Day on Wednesday with the entire coaching and scouting staffs in attendance. General manager Thomas Dimitroff spoke after the session. He addressed a number number of topics including how Georgia’s Roquan Smith stood out and the team-building philosophy in free agency and the draft. Here&rsquo...
Dimitroff on Ryan’s contract extension: ‘I don’t know how close we are’
Dimitroff on Ryan’s contract extension: ‘I don’t know how close we are’

The Falcons appear to have hit a snag while hashing out a lucrative contract extension for quarterback Matt Ryan.  “I couldn’t even put a (timetable on it). I don’t know how close we are,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said on Wednesday. “I can’t. We talk about it and it seems like things are right...
More Stories