NFL unveils 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees

The NFL on Tuesday announced 32 finalists for its most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement that the 2021 candidates, one representing each of the league’s 32 teams, “represent their many teammates who do incredible things in their communities.”

“Their unwavering commitment to their hometowns and team communities embodies Walter’s spirit of giving back in a way that makes us all incredibly proud of the work they are doing every day,” Goodell stated.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson won the award in 2020.

The award, first established in 1970, was renamed in 1999 to honor late Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, who played for the Chicago Bears, reported.

According to NBC Sports, each of the 32 nominees will receive a donation in their name totaling as much as $40,000 to their charity of choice. The player selected for the award, however, will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., reported.

The 2021 winner will be named during NFL Honors, slated to air on Feb. 10.

The 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees are as follows, and more information on each player can be found at

  • Arizona Cardinals: Kelvin Beachum
  • Atlanta Falcons: Mike Davis
  • Baltimore Ravens: Bradley Bozeman
  • Buffalo Bills: Harrison Phillips
  • Carolina Panthers: D.J. Moore
  • Chicago Bears: Jimmy Graham
  • Cincinnati Bengals: Sam Hubbard
  • Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward
  • Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott
  • Denver Broncos: Justin Simmons
  • Detroit Lions: Jason Cabinda
  • Green Bay Packers: Aaron Jones
  • Houston Texans: Justin Reid
  • Indianapolis Colts: Kenny Moore II
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack
  • Kansas City Chiefs: Tyrann Mathieu
  • Las Vegas Raiders: Darren Waller
  • Los Angeles Chargers: Corey Linsley
  • Los Angeles Rams: Andrew Whitworth
  • Miami Dolphins: Jerome Baker
  • Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr
  • New England Patriots: Lawrence Guy
  • New Orleans Saints: Cameron Jordan
  • New York Giants: Logan Ryan
  • New York Jets: Quinnen Williams
  • Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Kelce
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Heyward
  • San Francisco 49ers: Arik Armstead
  • Seattle Seahawks: Tyler Lockett
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans
  • Tennessee Titans: Derrick Henry
  • Washington Football Team: Jonathan Allen