Awards season is fast approaching, but for Patriots fans, the big ceremony is Feb. 6.
NFL Honors is the red carpet event of the season for football, and Patriots fans have quite a bit to look forward to. Throughout the night, presenters award players with everything from Comeback Player of the Year to MVP. Last year, Stephon Gilmore won Defensive Player of the Year, and Patriots players have a chance to heavily represent.
Here's what to watch for this Saturday night.
Richard Seymour is again a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Seymour was drafted in 2001 and played in New England until 2008, including four trips to the Super Bowl. His rookie year ended with the Patriots first Super Bowl victory, and he was an integral part of the team's first three championships.
While Patriots fans know Seymour is deserving of a gold jacket and a spot in Canton, but he is up against some legendary players like Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne and Clay Matthews. Between four and eight finalists will be selected as part of the Class of 2021, and we'll find out if Seymour is one of them, typically in towards the middle of the ceremony.
Patriots fans will have to wait until the end of the ceremony to find out if Devin McCourty will walk away with a prestigious award. He is again the Patriots nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
Throughout his time in New England, McCourty has been as pivotal in creating change throughout the region, never hesitating to use his platform for good. He has been a strong voice for criminal justice reform, education reform, sickle cell disease awareness and research and so much more. There is rarely a time where McCourty isn't lending his voice, donating money or lifting up others.
While there is almost too much to list, we did our best to make the case as to why McCourty is the perfect candidate for this award. You can read what he has done to deserve to be the Man of the Year here.
This is the NFL's highest honor for off the field work, and there is no one more deserving than McCourty.
Matthew Slater is the Patriots nominee for the Art Rooney Award, which celebrates sportsmanship, and in December, it was announced that he was among the eight finalists for the honor.
When it comes to character on and off the field, there are few people more respected around the league than Slater. In 2017, he was given the Bart Starr Award for his leadership and outstanding character, so it's' no surprise he is among finalists for the Art Rooney Award this year. He is in good company, too. Slater joins Teddy Bridgewater, Calais Campbell, Lavonte Houston, Jason Kelse and Kyle Juszcyk as finalists.
From being a Patriots captain and coin toss caller to leading a post-game prayer circle among Patriots players, as well as opponents, Slater lives out what it means to be a good sportsman every time he takes the field.
The NFL announced this week that the Salute to Service Award was given to Steve Cannon, an executive with the Atlanta Falcons, and while the honor is deserved, one Patriot was among the final three contenders.
Joe Cardona isn't just the Patriots long snapper; he is also a Naval Lieutenant, having graduated from the Naval Academy in 2015. Since joining the Patriots, Cardona has done an excellent job of dedicating himself to both promotions and his using his platform in the NFL to shine a light on active duty service members and veterans.
On top of juggling the responsibilities of an NFL player and as service member, Cardona continually goes above and beyond for those serving and those who have served. He has conducted reenlistment ceremonies, retirement ceremonies, volunteered for Play 60 football clinics on military bases throughout New England, plants flags on Boston Common for Memorial Day every year and in 2017, he spearheaded an effort to provide 150 military members with tickets to a game at Gillette Stadium.
While Cardona wasn't the winner this year, being a finalist is worth celebrating.
You can tune into the the 2021 NFL Honors on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 9 p.m. on FOX. With four Patriots up for big moments, it certainly will be worth watching.