Patriots safety Devin McCourty has been nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, an annual honor recognizing a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field.

McCourty is one of 32 players up for the award, as one member of each team receives a nomination.

He and his twin brother, Jason McCourty, have been working off the field to raise money for sickle cell research. The issue hits close to home for the two, as their aunt and uncle both suffered from the disease.

Although Jason McCourty wasn't nominated for the award, Devin McCourty made it a point to recognize his brother's fundraising efforts.

"At the end of the day, he really doesn’t care if his name’s on it or not, and I think that’s where we’re probably the most similar," Devin McCourty said at a press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday. "I’m better than him at football, but I would say off the field, we’re very similar."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft believes Devin McCourty is a well-deserving candidate.

"He is awesome on the field, but what he does outside of here that’s so important to our family, no one exceeds that. That’s why we were happy to award him the Ron Burton Community Award," Kraft said. "But, what he and his brother have done in sickle cell anemia and also in social justice, how he helped influence legislation to change the law from young people in this state not being able to be incarcerated – it used to be seven, now it’s 12. But, he helped and was a major force in making that happen."

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