The NFL announced this week that New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan will represent the team as one of thirty-two nominees for the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Nominees are chosen for the work they do in their cities through charities, philanthropy, and community service in addition to showing a high level of play on it. Jordan has spent nearly every Monday of his Saints career visiting local schools and children's hospitals, among other pursuits.
Just five previous award-winners are still active in the NFL: Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Each of them will wear a unique jersey patch this season:
New tradition starting tonite: Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winners to wear special patch on their jerseys to recognize their contributions to their communities. @saints @drewbrees among the 5 current winners pic.twitter.com/A1gP4HPffe— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) December 8, 2017
Jordan and the thirty-one other nominees from around the league also wear helmet stickers celebrating their off-field accomplishments. Should he progress to sit among the top three finalists, he will receive $100,000 to be donated to a charity of his choice and have another $100,000 donated in his name to United Way’s Character Playbook, a partnership with the NFL that encourages interactive learning in middle school students. If Jordan is ultimately named the winner, those amounts each increase to $250,000. Here’s hoping he’s able to continue making a positive difference in the world.