Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril was named Tuesday as one of the 32 nominees for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
Each NFL team has one nominee for the award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on and off the field. It's not the first significant award for which Avril has been nominated recently; he was also the team's nominee for the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
Avril, who last season earned Pro-Bowl honors for the first time in his career, has made a big impact on and off the field during his 10-year NFL career. In addition to piling up 74 career sacks and 29 forced fumbles, Avril has also been working through his Cliff Avril Family Foundation to fight diabetes for several years, and recently has become involved in work to help Haiti, his parents' home country. Avril funded the construction of a new house for every sack last season and this year following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, and has visited the island country each of the past two years with other NFL players, including teammate Michael Bennett and former Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, to work on a school he is building there. Avril is currently on Seattle's injured reserve list due to a neck injury sustained in a Week 4 win over Indianapolis.
The Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award was created in 2014 in honor of Art Rooney, Sr., the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The winner will be determined by a vote of current NFL players after a panel of former players narrows the list down to eight finalists. The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors show the night before Super Blowl LII, and that player will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to the charity of his choice. Past winners of the award are Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald in 2014, Oakland's Charles Woodson in 2015 and Indianapolis' Frank Gore last year. Past Seahawks nominees for the award have been K.J. Wright in 2014, Jermaine Kearse in 2015 and Tyler Lockett in 2016.
Take a look back at Cliff Avril's 4th Annual Dining to Make a Difference that took place Monday night at the Palisade restaurant. Proceeds went to Cliff Avril's Family Foundation which supports healthy living and those affected by Juvenile Diabetes.