2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year award — the league’s most prestigious honor. The award was first established in 1970 and was renamed after the late Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton in 1999. The four nominees from the NFC East teams; New York Giants Saquon Barkley, Philadelphia Eagles Brandon Graham, Washington Commanders Charles Leno, Jr. and Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott.
The winner of the award each year receives a $250,000 donated to the winner’s charity of choice. All other 31 nominees receive up to $40,000 donated to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
The 2022 winner will be revealed during NFL Honors ahead of Super Bowl LVII.
NFC East Four Representatives For Walter Payton MOTY Award
New York Giants – Saquon Barkley
NFC East Giants‘ nominee Saquon Barkley, for the 2022 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service as well as excellence on the field.
“Being the recipient for the New York Giants and getting honored is truly amazing,” Barkley said. “It’s something that was a goal of mine when I got drafted. I want to win the whole thing. But it’s not just about winning the award. It’s all about the work you do within the community to try to make an impact and try to make change. I’m very fortunate.
I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to play the sport that I love and live out my dream and be able to have an impact on children. That’s something I wanted to do from the moment I stepped on the field and the moment I was drafted by the Giants. To finally be a recipient for them and hopefully the winner for them is something that’s a dream of mine and a goal of mine. Hopefully, I’m able to accomplish it.” Saquon Barkley – New York Giants
Washington Commanders – Charles Leno, Jr.
NFC East Washington Commanders announced offensive tackle Charles Leno, Jr. as the team’s nominee for the 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of The Year Award. Considered one of the league’s most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
“In life I believe you are not defined by what you accomplish, but by what you do for others,” said Charles. “Sometimes I try to think, ‘Charles, are you a football player or are you just someone who plays football?’ I just play football. Because one day I won’t be a football player anymore. I’ll just be someone who played football. So, what do I want people to remember me for other than being a football player?”
“The Walter Payton Man of the Year honor holds a special place in my heart. As a former teammate and friend of Walter Payton, I know how big of an honor being the team nominee is. From the moment that Charles arrived in the DMV he immediately made his presence known in the community by helping those less fortunate,” said Head Coach Ron Rivera.
“Having played for the Bears, I know how much Charles understands the impact that Walter had on all those around him and most importantly out in the community. Charles understands that giving back in your free time and paying it forward are two of the most important things you can do in life. Because of these characteristics he is a perfect selection for the honor of being our nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year.”Charles Leno Jr. – Washington Commanders
Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott
NFC East Dallas Cowboys announced today Dak Prescott as their nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, presented by Nationwide.
“I would like to thank the Dallas Cowboys for naming me their 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee,” said Prescott. “It is a privilege for me to use this platform to influence causes that are important to me, my family and the community. If my voice can champion those who feel marginalized, need assistance, encouragement or support in an effort to make change, then I feel an obligation to speak up.” Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles – Brandon Graham
NFC East Philadelphia Eagles mean so much more than a football team to its vast fan base, and defensive end Brandon Graham has come to know that quite well throughout his 13-year playing career in Philadelphia.
“That was a big surprise for me. It was an emotional day for my wife, for me, for them … I didn’t expect to see them. I know that people look up to me, but you just don’t know the moments where you’re helping them the most.”
“It’s all about the community of people. I’ve got my kids and I know that they’re the future. So, we’ve got to pour into them even more now, so that when I’m older, our future could be a lot brighter. That was the whole reasoning behind Team Graham, working with a team of people for one common cause – whatever was dear to our heart.”
“Thank you guys for just making me better. Hearing their stories, knowing exactly what it was that I helped them with, they helped me too! I’m thankful to be able to learn from them and they motivated me to want to do more.” Brandon Graham – Philadelphia Eagles
Since 2017, previous winners who are currently active in the league wear a patch depicting the trophy on their uniforms for the rest of their NFL careers. The current active winners (in chronological order) are J. J. Watt, Calais Campbell, and Russell Wilson.
Once announced, the nominees of each team are given a helmet decal, also depicting the trophy, to wear for the remainder of the season. The hope is one of our beloved NFC East nominees can snag the award this yea. The winner is also acknowledged during the Super Bowl pre-game ceremony before “America the Beautiful” and “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
The NFL describes the award as its “most prestigious accolade.” Last years was awarded to NFC West player, Rams OT Andrew Whitworth. This year the NFC East teams are 11-3 in the 14 interdivisional games. This new showing of the strength in the division for 2022, mainly due to the Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants — the NFC East is back to being the best division in football, thus strengthening chances for one of their own being named the 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year. And that’s…”The Lex Of It“