Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank are among nominees for NFL Salute to Service Award


Coaches Ron Rivera and Sean McDermott, standout players Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle and Demario Davis, team owner Arthur Blank, and the Houston Texans cheerleaders are among nominees from 31 teams for the NFL’s Salute to Service Award.

The award, presented by USAA and the league, recognizes players, coaches, staff and alumni who demonstrate a strong commitment to honoring and supporting military and veteran communities. Each NFL club nominates someone, though the Cincinnati Bengals did not have a nominee this year.

Finalists will be announced in January, and the recipient will be recognized at “NFL Honors,” the televised awards show during the week of the Super Bowl at which The Associated Press individual season award winners are revealed. Last year’s winner was Steve Cannon, CEO of the Atlanta Falcons’ parent company AMB Sports and Entertainment. Cannon will serve on the award panel.

“Now more than ever, it’s essential that our nation come together to support and show appreciation for those Americans who are serving and have served our country, as well as their families,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Bird, USAA senior vice president of military affairs. “This year’s nominees for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA all deserve special recognition for stepping up to support our military community, and we are encouraged to see this list of diverse nominees coming from all areas of the NFL organization.”

USAA, which provides insurance and other financial services to U.S. military members, veterans and their families, will contribute $25,000 in the recipient’s name to official aid societies representing all U.S. military branches. The NFL will match that contribution by donating $25,000 to the awardee’s military or veteran charity of choice.

Also nominated:

ARIZONA CARDINALS: Teresa Miller, (director, financial planning & analysis)

BALTIMORE RAVENS : Jarret Johnson (former player)

CHICAGO BEARS: Jimmy Graham (tight end)

CLEVELAND BROWNS: Baker Mayfield (quarterback)

DALLAS COWBOYS: Charlotte Jones (executive vice president, chief brand officer)

DENVER BRONCOS: Andrew Beck (tight end)

DETROIT LIONS: Maurice Pearson (manager of player and alumni relations)

GREEN BAY PACKERS: Chris Gizzi (strength and conditioning coach)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Brian Decker (director of player development)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Myles Jack (linebacker)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Bobby Bell (former player, Pro Football Hall of Famer)

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: Vance Mueller (offensive tackle)

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Joe Lombardi (offensive coordinator)

LOS ANGELES RAMS: Andrew Whitworth (offensive tackle)

MIAMI DOLPHINS: Blake Ferguson (long snapper)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS Pete Bercich (former player)

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS : Joe Cardona (long snapper)

NEW YORK GIANTS Emlen Tunnell (former player and Pro Football Hall of Famer)

NEW YORK JETS: Harrison Bernstein (staff alumni)

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Chris Sharkoski (director of event operations)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Jon Kolb (former player)

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Nino Gray (community engagement manager)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Ryan Jensen (center)

TENNESSEE TITANS: John Williams (stadium operations manager)

Source : ESPN