The San Francisco 49ers announced on Friday that tackle Joe Staley is one of eight finalists for the prestigious Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. It is his fourth consecutive year as a finalist.

The award, created in 2014, is presented annually 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. The winner will be announced at the NFL Honors presentation before the Super Bowl, and he will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

General manager John Lynch joined KNBR on Friday morning and discussed Staley being a finalist and what the veteran offensive lineman means to him, the team, and the community.

"When we came in as a staff last year, he was asked to do some different things," Lynch said. "He's having a better year, this year, on the field, and last year was pretty darn good. Joe's playing at an extremely high level.

"I appreciate that he believes in what we're trying to accomplish so much and he's trying to bring people with him. And he does each and every week. I just appreciate the heck out of this guy. I think every fan should because of what he's given to this organization.

"I think the Art Rooney award he's been nominated for speaks to him playing the game the right way. He competes really hard, but he respects his opponents.

"I was really proud of our organization the other night. We had the Convoy of Hope (resource fair at Levi's Stadium), and we had over 200 employees (take part). We had upwards of close to 30 players over there on their off night, and Joe was right there getting toys, along with his wife and kids, getting toys for these kids of need. It's just an awesome sight.

"What Joe's done on the field and off the field is something that should be appreciated by everybody that's a 49er fan and that lives in this area."

The other seven finalists for the award are New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell, Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis, Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle, and Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams.

You can listen to the entire interview with Lynch below.

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