Terry McLaurin is the Washington Football Team's nominee for the seventh-annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes players around the NFL who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
In addition to being one of the best wide receivers in the NFL -- he ranks fifth in receiving yards (963) and 11th in receptions (69) -- McLaurin has been a leader on the field and in the locker room. That's why after Landon Collins went on Injured Reserve with a season-ending Achilles injury, McLaurin's teammates unanimously voted him a captain despite being in just his second professional season.
"While it's a great honor," McLaurin said, "I feel like the thing that helped me get this honor was coming to work every day, being the guy that works hard and walks the walk and doesn't talk the talk."
"Everyone on this team respects him," defensive tackle Jon Allen said of McLaurin. "He deserves that 'C' on his chest more than anybody else."
McLaurin is one of 32 players nominated (one from each team) for the sportsmanship award, which was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr. McLaurin and Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen are the youngest nominees in terms of professional experience. Both are in their second NFL season.
"Terry's one of those guys that prepares the right way, every day," head coach Ron Rivera said in October. "He's one of those guys that understands how to take care of himself, how to prevent injuries, how to take care of injuries. He's a young pro."
Here is a list of all of the Washington's nominees since the award's inception:
|2014||S Ryan Clark|
|2015||RB Alfred Morris|
|2016||QB Kirk Cousins|
|2017||TE Vernon Davis|
|2018||TE Vernon Davis|
|2019||RB Adrian Peterson|
|2020||WR Terry McLaurin|
A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community will select eight finalists (four in the AFC and four in the NFC). The finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the Sportsmanship Award category, and a winner will be determined by a vote of current NFL players, which will occur Friday, Dec. 18.
The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. Past winners include wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (2014), cornerback Charles Woodson (2015), running back Frank Gore (2016), linebacker Luke Kuechly (2017), quarterback Drew Brees (2018) and former Washington running back Adrian Peterson (2019).