Template:Infobox sports award

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is presented annually by the National Football League (NFL) 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, Connie Payton (widow of Walter Payton), the previous year's winner, and a number of former players select the winner of the award. The Man of the Year winner receives a $50,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. The other 31 finalists also receive donations in their name of $5,000 each to charities of their choice. The Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs have had more winners of the award than any other team, with 5 winners each.

Each winner who is currently active in the league, beginning in Week 14 of the current season, has a patch on their uniforms. The current active winners are: Drew Brees, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning, and J.J. Watt. The nominees of each team are given a helmet decal to wear for the remainder of the season.[1]


YearPlayer Position Team Ref
1970 Johnny UnitasQuarterback Baltimore Colts[2]
1971 Hadl, JohnJohn Hadl Quarterback San Diego Chargers [3]
1972 Lanier, WillieWillie Lanier Linebacker Kansas City Chiefs
1973 Dawson, LenLen Dawson Quarterback Kansas City Chiefs
1974 Blanda, GeorgeGeorge Blanda Quarterback Oakland Raiders
1975 Anderson, KenKen Anderson Quarterback Cincinnati Bengals
1976 Harris, FrancoFranco Harris Running back Pittsburgh Steelers
1977 Payton, WalterWalter Payton Running back Chicago Bears
1978 Staubach, RogerRoger Staubach Quarterback Dallas Cowboys
1979 Greene, JoeJoe Greene Defensive Tackle Pittsburgh Steelers
1980 Carmichael, HaroldHarold Carmichael Wide receiver Philadelphia Eagles
1981 Swann, LynnLynn Swann Wide receiver Pittsburgh Steelers
1982 Theismann, JoeJoe Theismann Quarterback Washington Redskins
1983 Benirschke, RolfRolf Benirschke Placekicker San Diego Chargers
1984 Lyons, MartyMarty Lyons Defensive tackle New York Jets
1985 Stephenson, DwightDwight Stephenson Center Miami Dolphins
1986 Williams, ReggieReggie Williams Linebacker Cincinnati Bengals
1987 Duerson, DaveDave Duerson Safety Chicago Bears
1988 Largent, SteveSteve Largent Wide receiver Seattle Seahawks
1989 Moon, WarrenWarren Moon Quarterback Houston Oilers
1990 Singletary, MikeMike Singletary Linebacker Chicago Bears
1991 Muñoz, AnthonyAnthony Muñoz Offensive tackle Cincinnati Bengals
1992 Elway, JohnJohn Elway Quarterback Denver Broncos
1993 Thomas, DerrickDerrick Thomas Linebacker Kansas City Chiefs
1994 Seau, JuniorJunior Seau Linebacker San Diego Chargers
1995 Esiason, BoomerBoomer Esiason Quarterback New York Jets
1996 Green, DarrellDarrell Green Cornerback Washington Redskins
1997 Aikman, TroyTroy Aikman Quarterback Dallas Cowboys
1998 Marino, DanDan Marino Quarterback Miami Dolphins
1999 Carter, CrisCris Carter Wide receiver Minnesota Vikings
2000 Brooks, DerrickDerrick Brooks Linebacker Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Flanigan, JimJim Flanigan Defensive tackle Chicago Bears
2001 Bettis, JeromeJerome Bettis Running back Pittsburgh Steelers
2002 Vincent, TroyTroy Vincent Cornerback Philadelphia Eagles
2003 Shields, WillWill Shields Guard Kansas City Chiefs
2004 Dunn, WarrickWarrick Dunn Running back Atlanta Falcons
2005 Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning Quarterback Indianapolis Colts
2006 Brees, DrewDrew Brees Quarterback New Orleans Saints
Tomlinson, LaDainianLaDainian Tomlinson Running back San Diego Chargers
2007 Taylor, JasonJason Taylor Defensive end Miami Dolphins
2008 Warner, KurtKurt Warner Quarterback Arizona Cardinals [4]
2009 Waters, BrianBrian Waters Guard Kansas City Chiefs [5]
2010 Williams, MadieuMadieu Williams Safety Minnesota Vikings [6]
2011 Birk, MattMatt Birk Center Baltimore Ravens
2012 Jason WittenTight end Dallas Cowboys
2013 Tillman, CharlesCharles Tillman Cornerback Chicago Bears
2014 Davis, ThomasThomas Davis Linebacker Carolina Panthers
2015 Boldin, AnquanAnquan Boldin Wide receiver San Francisco 49ers [7]
2016 Fitzgerald, LarryLarry Fitzgerald Wide receiver Arizona Cardinals [8]
Manning, EliEli Manning Quarterback New York Giants [8]
2017 Watt, J. J.J. J. WattDefensive end Houston Texans
2018 Long, ChrisChris Long Defensive end Philadelphia Eagles [9]

See alsoEdit


  2. "Johnny Unitas NFL & AFL Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  3. "John Hadl NFL & AFL Statistics". Pro Football Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  4. "Warner named Payton award winner". United Press International. February 1, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  5. "Brian Waters named NFL Man of the Year". United Press International. February 7, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  6. Gardner, Tim (February 6, 2011). "Vikings' Madieu Williams named Walter Payton Man of the Year". USA Today. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  7. Hagemann, Andie (February 6, 2016). "Anquan Boldin named Walter Payton Man of the Year". Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Fitzgerald, Eli both named Walter Payton Man of Year". February 4, 2017.
  9. Bergman, Jeremy (February 2, 2019). "Chris Long named Walter Payton Man of the Year". Retrieved February 2, 2019.

Template:NFL Honors

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