For the first time in his career New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson was voted by his teammates as a team captain.
After 12 starting assignments Watson has 54 receptions for 642 yards with four touchdowns. That ranks eighth among NFL tight ends in receptions, sixth in receiving yards and tied for fourth in third down receptions with 18.
Besides being named the New Orleans Saints 2015 Man of the Year, the Saints nominated Watson for the National Football League's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
"this year our team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the year is not only one of our team's most consistent receivers, but he is also an outstanding leader both in our locker room as a team captain and in our community, "said Saints executive vice president/general manager Mickey Loomis. "Benjamin has taken his role as a team captain very seriously and has been a work through his foundation, commitment to helping those in need and as an advocate against domestic violence make us proud to recognize him with the team honor and nominate him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award."
Watson said, "I consider it a privilege to be nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and I don't take this lightly. I consider myself blessed and fortunate to have been able to play in the National Football League for 12 years. I feel that reaching out to and helping others in any way, shape or form is part of our mission as NFL players."
Watson was a first round draft pick selected by the New England Patriots in 2004 out of the University of Georgia. In 159 career NFL games, Watson has 115 starting assignments with 441 career receptions for 4,780 yards with 36 touchdowns.
Watson is a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, a Pro Athlete Outreach board member and a Spokesman for the "All Pro Dad" campaign.
In 2015, he authored his first book, titled "Under Our Skin".the book, which was released in November, addresses many of the diverse cultural issues that affect our society. Watson was named one of CNN's Most Extraordinary People of the Year in 2014 and was a Sports Impact Award winner at the K-LOVE Fan Awards.
Three of the 32 team nominees will be selected and announced as finalists for the NFL award in January, 2016.
The winner will be announced during the 5th Annual NFL honors award show on February 6, the night before Super Bowl 50.
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