New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson is one of three finalist for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, along with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

“I consider it a privilege to be nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and I don’t take this lightly,” said Watson in a Saints press release. “I consider myself blessed and fortunate to have been able to play in the National Football League for 12 years. I feel that reaching out to and helping others in any way, shape or form is part of our mission as NFL players.”

Watson has reached out to help many during his dozen years in the league. Last season was no different.

He and his wife's charity, the Watson One More Foundation, uses the following mission station:

Since its inception our desire has been for One More to be a vehicle to carry the hope and love of Christ to those in our community who need it most, while understanding that the best and most efficient way to reach people’s hearts is by first meeting their physical needs. Our mission is to simply be a blessing to those around us wherever we are, whether that’s supporting existing charities or initiating programs of our own. We are excited about your potential partnership in the endeavor and are sincerely grateful for your support as we accept God’s call to continually reach One More.

The NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is given annually to one player from the league. All 32 teams nominate a single player from their team, before the NFL narrows 32 players down to 3 finalists. The winner will be announced Saturday, February 6th at the "NFL Honors" awards show.

Winners of the prestigious award receive a $50,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

In addition to his solid play on the field and work in the community, Watson also published a book recently, titled Under Our Skin. In it, he details cultural issues which have a negative effect on society, citing his reasons and beliefs as to how it can be improved.

“Benjamin is not only one of our team’s most consistent receivers, but he is also an outstanding leader both in our locker room as a team captain and in our community,” said New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis in statement released by the team. “Benjamin has taken his role as a team captain very seriously and has been a great mentor, resource and role model to younger players in our locker room. In addition, his work through his foundation, commitment to helping those in need and as an advocate against domestic violence make us proud to recognize him with the team honor and nominate him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.”

Saints quarterback Drew Brees won the award in 2006, sharing the honor with former San Diego Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson.

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