Tyler Lockett is doing more than just catching touchdown passes at the best rate of his career.
The Seahawks’ wide receiver is gaining a reputation as one of the league most gentlemanly competitors.
The thoughtful Lockett is the team’s nominee for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, the league announced Wednesday. The honor goes to the player who “best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.”
The Seahawks rewarded Lockett with a $31.8-million, three-year contract extension in August in his comeback from a broken leg in December 2016. That move is already paying off. Lockett has seven touchdown catches in the first nine games of this season. That’s already his new high for an entire season.
Each team nominates one player for the annual Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The league will announce the winner for the 2018 season at its annual awards presentations on Feb. 2, the night before Super Bowl 53.
The NFL created the award in 2014 in the name of the Pro Football Hall of Famer and late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A panel of former players from the NFL legends community narrows the 32 team nominees to eight finalists for the award, four from the NFC and four from the AFC.
Current league players determine the league winner. The eight finalists will be on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday, December 14. A team cannot vote for a player from its own squad.
Past winners of the award are Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly last year, Colts running back Frank Gore in 2016, Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson in 2015 and Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in 2014.
The full list of 2018 nominees:
Arizona Cardinals DT Corey Peters
Atlanta Falcons C Alex Mack
Baltimore Ravens S Eric Weddle
Buffalo Bills DT Kyle Williams
Carolina Panthers DE Julius Peppers
Chicago Bears C Cody Whitehair
Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green
Cleveland Browns OL Joel Bitonio
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Denver Broncos DT Domata Peko
Detroit Lions LS Don Muhlbach
Green Bay Packers CB Tramon Williams
Houston Texans CB Johnathan Joseph
Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck
Jacksonville Jaguars DE Calais Campbell
Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins
Los Angeles Chargers TE Antonio Gates
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley
Miami Dolphins RB Frank Gore
Minnesota Vikings DE Danielle Hunter
New England Patriots WR Matthew Slater
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees
New York Giants TE Rhett Ellison
New York Jets DL Steve McLendon
Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr
Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz
Pittsburgh Steelers G David DeCastro
San Francisco 49ers T Joe Staley
Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett
Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Lavonte David
Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota
Washington Redskins TE Vernon Davis