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The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is given annually by the National Football League honoring a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. Prior to 1999, it was called simply the NFL Man of the Year Award. Shortly after Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton died (having been the 1977 recipient himself), the award was renamed to honor his legacy as a humanitarian.


Each year, a winner is selected from 32 nominees from the 32 different teams. A panel of judges, which includes the Commissioner of the NFL Mr. Rodger Goodell, Connie Payton (widow of Walter Payton), the previous year's winner, and a number of former players, selects the winner of the award. The Man of the Year winner receives a $25,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. The other 31 finalists also receive donations in their name of $1,000 each to charities of their choice.




WCPF hosts a private luncheon each year the Friday before Super Bowl for all 3 finalists to attend. During this luncheon each finalist is

recognized for their outstanding charitable contributions by the Commissioner, The Payton Family and WCPF.



Past Award Recipients:

2019   TBA

2018  Chris Long - Philadelphia Eagles

2017  J.J. Watt - Houston Texas

2016  Larry Fitzgerald - Arizona Cardinals

          Eli Manning - New York Giants

2015  Anquan Boldin - San Francisco 49ers

2014  Thomas Davis - Carolina Panthers

2013  Charles Tillman - Chicago Bears

2012  Jason Witten - Dallas Cowboys

2011  Matt Birk - Baltimore Ravens

2010  Madieu Williams - Minnesota Vikings

2009  Brian Waters - Kansas City Chiefs

2008  Kurt Warner - Arizona Cardinals

2007  Jason Taylor - Miami Dolphins

2006  LaDainian Tomlinson - San Diego Charges

2006  Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints

2005  Peyton Maning - Indianapolis Colts

2004  Warrick Dunn - Atlanta Falcons

2003  Will Shields - Kansas City Chiefs

2002  Troy Vincent - Philadelphia Eagles

2001  Jerome Bettis - Pittsburgh Steelers

2000  Derrick Brooks - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2000  Jim Flanigan - Green Bay Packers

1999  Cris Carter - Minnesota Vikings

1998  Dan Marino - Miami Dolphins

1997 Troy Aikman - Dallas Cowboys

1996  Darrell Green - Washington Redskins

1995  Boomer Esiason - New York Jets

1994  Junior Seau - San Diego Chargers

1993  Derrick Thomas - Kansas City Chiefs

1992  John Elway - Denver Broncos

1991  Anthony Munoz - Cincinnati Bengals

1990  Mike Singletary - Chicago Bears

1989  Warren Moon - Houston Oilers

1988  Steven Largent - Seattle Seahawks

1987  Dave Duerson - Chicago Bears

1986  Reggie Williams - Cininnati Bengals

1985  Dwight Stephenson - Miami Dolphins

1984  Marty Lyons - New York Jets

1983  Rolf Benirschke - San Diego Chargers

1982  Joe Theismann - Washington Redskins

1981  Lynn Swann - Pittsburgh Steelers

1980  Harold Carmichael - Philadelphia Eagles

1979  Joe Greene - Pittsburgh Steelers

1978  Roger Staubach - Dallas Cowboys







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