Bears nominate RB Benny Cunningham for NFL’s sportsmanship award

The Bears have selected running back Benny Cunningham as its nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

NFL veterans Drew Brees, Joe Thomas, Von Miller and Luke Kuechly are also among the 32 nominees announced Tuesday.

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.

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.

Bears running back Benny Cunningham carries the football in the second quarter against the Packers at Soldier Field on Nov. 12, 2017. | Stacy Revere/Getty Images

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