Fitzgerald, Polamalu among award finalists
NEW YORK (AP) Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson are among eight finalists for the NFL's new Sportsmanship Award.
The Cardinals and Lions wideouts are joined in the finals by linebackers Thomas Davis of Carolina and Chad Greenway of Minnesota; safety Troy Polamalu of Pittsburgh; defensive end DeMarcus Ware of Denver; quarterback Alex Smith of Kansas City; and special teams ace Matthew Slater of New England.
A panel of former players - Hall of Famer Curtis Martin, Warrick Dunn, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler - selected the finalists from 32 nominees, one from each team. The winner will be determined by a vote of current NFL players; the finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot.
The winner will receive a $25,000 donation to a charity of his choice.
The award will be presented during the ''NFL Honors'' program on Jan. 31, the night before the Super Bowl, when The Associated Press announces its eight award winners, including MVP and Coach of the Year.
Each of the players has been in the NFL for at least seven seasons, with Slater the junior among them. Johnson has eight years of service, Greenway nine, Ware, Smith and Davis 10, Fitzgerald 11, and Polamalu 12.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL