The NFL announced today the 32 nominees for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARDPRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE. Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, each player was selected as his team’s Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. Considered one of the league’s most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. First established in 1970, the national award was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON.
“Every day, in cities and towns across America, NFL players give of themselves to make our communities better. This year, as we celebrate our 100th season and the 50th year of the Walter Payton NFL Man of Year Award, NFL players have continued to raise the bar on community engagement and impact,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “The 32 nominees for this year’s award are the best of the best and truly embody the spirit of Walter and his legacy of leaving the world better than he found it.”
For the second year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LIV.
The 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 1, the eve of Super Bowl LIV on FOX. NFL Honors will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami.
All 32 nominees will receive a donation of up to $50,000 in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
“Nationwide congratulates this year’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominees,” said Nationwide’s Chief Marketing Officer RAMON JONES. “Year after year, we’re amazed at the amount of time, talent and resources the NFL players give to their communities. This year’s best of the best from each team—these 32 men—recognized a need, took action and energized those around them to do more. It’s our privilege to help share their stories about making positive differences for others.”
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide’s 5th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee’s last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 12 and Jan. 12 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.
Beginning in 2017, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette came to life in uniform elements to further recognize past award winners and current nominees. The six current players who have won the award—DREW BREES, THOMAS DAVIS, LARRY FITZGERALD, JASON WITTEN, ELI MANNING and J.J. WATT—continue to wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. All 2019 nominees will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning Week 15 and continuing through the end of the season in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field.