MIAMI — Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell has been named the 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. The award was presented to Campbell by former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who retired earlier this offseason.
A heartwarming video introducing Campbell showcased his rise from a poor neighborhood to the University of Miami and then his 12-year career in the NFL, where he has started a foundation named after his late father, Charles Campbell. The foundation helps young children in need overcome their circumstances, just as he overcame his.
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. Established in 1970, the award was renamed in 1999 after the late great Chicago Bears running back. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community, and the winner is chosen from those 32 candidates.
This year’s other nominees were David Johnson, Ricardo Allen, Brandon Carr, Lorenzo Alexander, Cam Newton, Allen Robinson, Giovani Bernard, Jarvis Landry, Travis Frederick, Justin Simmons, Devon Kennard, Blake Martinez, D.J. Reader, Pierre Desir, Dustin Colquitt, Uchenna Nwosu, Andrew Whitworth, Davon Godchaux, Kyle Rudolph, Kyle Van Noy, Terron Armstead, Nate Solder, Jonotthan Harrison, Tahir Whitehead, Malcolm Jenkins, Maurkice Pouncey, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner, Mike Evans, Ben Jones and Nick Sundberg.
The 31 players who did not win the award will receive a $50,000 donation in their name donated to their charity of choice, courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide. Campbells’s charity of choice will receive a $250,000 donation.