Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson Among 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award Nominees

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 9, 2021

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 09:  Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs shakes hands with quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens after the Chiefs defeated the Ravens 27-24 in overtime to win the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson, Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen, Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott, Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes and Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry are among the candidates for the 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

The NFL announced all 32 teams' nominees Thursday:


2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award nominees!<br><br>Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. <a href="https://t.co/itLM2jqLk2">pic.twitter.com/itLM2jqLk2</a>

The award, which was established for the 2014 season, honors the legacy of Pittsburgh Steelers founding owner Art Rooney, who died in 1988. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964.

Here are the past winners as voted by their fellow players:

  • 2014: Larry Fitzgerald
  • 2015: Charles Woodson
  • 2016: Frank Gore
  • 2017: Luke Kuechly
  • 2018: Drew Brees
  • 2019: Adrian Peterson
  • 2020: Teddy Bridgewater

Bridgewater was honored for handling "challenges with grace" as he returned to a starting role for the Carolina Panthers last season, four years after suffering a major knee injury:

"I really just cherish this game because it's taken me places that I couldn't imagine. It's allowed me to encounter different individuals from all across the world. On this journey, I've been able to befriend some people. You know, I still have great people I'm associated with to this day. This game has done so much for me. It's allowed me to meet different people, and everyone has a story. Everyone has a different upbringing and different background, and to be a part of someone's journey is a huge feeling.
"It's a huge blessing just knowing that whether it's on the playing field, being the best sportsman that I can be, or being the best teammate I can be around the locker room, I take pride in that."

Bridgewater now plays for the Denver Broncos.

This year's nominees are a wide-ranging collection of some of the NFL's biggest stars and role players.

The winner will be announced during the annual NFL Honors broadcast Feb. 10 during the week of events leading up to Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13.