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Ranking the 10 Biggest 'Good Guys' in the NFL

Paul ThelenContributor IIJune 6, 2013

Ranking the 10 Biggest 'Good Guys' in the NFL

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    The ferocious, violent nature of professional football isn’t compatible for pacifists and good Samaritans, but fear not moralists; the NFL does have some good guys.

    The most notable good guy to don an NFL jersey in recent history is the now, perhaps permanently, unemployed Tim Tebow. So, with America’s favorite son no longer in the NFL, who is our new morally rich good guy?

    A "good guy" is a player who exudes excellence both on and off the field. He doesn’t stomp on opponents  or berate journalists in postgame interviews, nor does he get arrested or forget his children’s names.

    Instead, good guys work in their communities, establish charities and possess the charming characteristics that endear them to their fans.

    With a strew of NFL players making headlines this offseason for various indecencies, it seems as good a time as ever to applaud the good guys of the NFL.

No. 10 Cam Newton

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    Cam Newton may seem like a strange selection, but hear me out first.

    Newton entered the league with the unflattering chatter surrounding his potential NCAA violations at Auburn University.

    The allegations have since been proven false and Newton has exemplified model citizenship. The multi-faceted quarterback established the Cam Newton Foundation with chapters in both Atlanta and Charlotte. The foundation thrives to teach the importance of education and physical training to kids.

    Newton has done a fantastic job of turning around his public perception. Taking part in perhaps the best NFL commercial of the 2012 season is evidence of just that. 

No. 9 Charles Tillman

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    Charles Tillman is known for his powerful fumble-forcing punch and adept ball skills. The Chicago Bears cornerback has been a menace for opposing quarterbacks and ball-carriers since entering the league in 2003.

    Following a serious health scare in 2008 involving his own three-month old daughter, Tiana, Tillman started the Cornerstone Foundation to help assist sick children and their families. Started in 2005, his foundation impacts children in the Chicago area who are in need of organ transplants.

No. 8 Nnamdi Asomugha

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    Except for significant portions of the past two seasons, Nnamdi Asomugha has been a lock-down cornerback who can make receivers disappear through his tight, physical coverage.

    Off the field, the quiet 49ers defender makes noise with his extensive charity work as the leader of the Asomugha Foundation, an organization that provides aid to widows and children.

    His foundation primarily operates in Nigeria, but also provides assistance stateside.

No. 7 Alex Smith

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    Each time the camera cut to the long-faced Alex Smith holding a clipboard last season following his benching, the now Kansas City Chiefs quarterback drew further and further sympathy from fans across the country.

    He received good guys points through the elegance and class he displayed after the benching, never once lashing out or withdrawing his support of his teammates.

    Smith is very active in his community as The Alex Smith Foundation provides mentoring, assistance, education and jobs to foster teens transitioning into adulthood.

    Sounds like Kansas City will benefit from the arrival of Smith both on and off the field.

No. 6 Troy Polamalu

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    Part of Troy Polamalu's job responsibility is to hit receivers so hard that the football becomes dislodged from their person.

    Yet, when Sports Illustrated polled 272 NFL players in 2011 in search of the league's nicest player, the Pittsburgh Steelers safety secured the most votes.

    In addition to receiving the approval of his fellow players, Polamalu works for various charitable causes.

    Throw in multiple corporate sponsorships and commercials, and Polamalu finds himself ranked No. 6 on the good guys list.

No. 5 London Fletcher

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    On the field, London Fletcher is known for his leadership, longevity and consistency. Off the field, he is equally impressive.

    His London's Bridge Foundation operates in four U.S cities on their mission to mentor underprivileged youth.

    Fletcher has donated more than $100,000 dollars to his alma mater at John Carroll University, a tiny Division III school in Ohio.

    Fletcher has been a finalist for the NFL's Walter Payton Award three times, which stands as a testament to his enduring philanthropy and community work.  

No. 4 Tony Gonzalez

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    Tony Gonzalez once saved a choking man's life by performing the Heimlich maneuver in a restaurant.

    The on-field and off-field hero also runs the Shadow Buddies Foundation, an organization that provides illness-specific dolls to sick children.

    An eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer, Gonzalez is an all-around good guy, as long as you discount the nightmares he inflicts on opposing defensive coordinators. 

No. 3 Drew Brees

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    Drew Brees has been an underdog story in the NFL. Although undersized and with an arm that is hardly a cannon, Brees has disproved his naysayers en route to a Super Bowl championship and fantastic career. 

    Off the field, Brees assists underdogs who are battling cancer through his Drew Brees Dream Foundation. The Foundation has made numerous philanthropic donations totaling more that $17 million.

    The New Orleans Saints star was also an instrumental aid to those affected by disastrous Hurricane Katrina.

No. 2 Jason Witten

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    In 2013, Jason Witten received both the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and the Bart Starr Award for his outstanding charitable work.

    The standout tight end for the Dallas Cowboys created the Score Foundation to assist those affected by domestic violence. Witten and his foundation have assisted victims in his home state of Tennessee and in Texas. 

    Furthering his good guy excellence, Witten is an active supporter and contributor to the NFL's Play 60 campaign that encourages America's youth to stay healthy through physical activity.

No. 1 Peyton Manning

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    Yes, the guy who replaced Tim Tebow as the Denver Broncos quarterback has also replaced him as the NFL's best good guy.

    Peyton charity organization the Peyback Foundation works tirelessly to assist underprivileged kids in Indiana, Louisiana, Colorado and Tennessee.

    The star quarterback is the face of countless marketing campaigns, advertising numerous products and companies.

    Manning's good guy persona is verified through his charitable works and his numerous commercial appearances that display his enormous popularity among fans. 

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