clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eagles' Connor Barwin nominated for 2015 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

Once again, Connor Barwin is earning recognition for his contributions to the community.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin is one of 32 nominees for the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, according to an official release from the NFL. This is the second year in a row Barwin has been the Eagles' nominee.

"The prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award presented by Nationwide is unique among NFL honors because it is the only award that recognizes a current NFL player for outstanding community service activities as well as excellence on the field. Established in 1970, the award was renamed in 1999 after the late Chicago Bears’ running back Walter Payton, who represented the very best of the NFL as an athlete on the field and as a role-model off of the field."

It's no secret that Barwin is a big contributor to the community.

Off the field, Connor has an even greater impact. In 2013, he founded the Make the World Better Foundation (MWBF), which builds and rehabilitates parks to provide safe and fun spaces for outdoor athletic and artistic play - an essential component of child development. As a nod to the importance of family, MWBF are also his parents' initials. In 2014 and 2015, the foundation raised $700,000 for the renovation of Ralph Brooks Park, which opened after training camp this season and was featured in NFL Films Presents: The Street Eagle. Make the World Better is now focusing on the Smith Playground in South Philadelphia, which will include a renovated recreational center, a new football field and two new baseball fields. He is also actively involved in Eagles Youth Partnership, a charity that serves over 50,000 low-income children in the Greater Philadelphia region every year with a focus on vital health and education programming.

A longtime supporter of environmental stewardship, Connor is a spokesman for NRG Energy, a Fortune 500 power generation and retail electricity company. In this role, he traveled to Haiti to install NRG solar panels on an orphanage and recently surprised fans by installing solar panels on their roof.

Connor has close ties within the local Philadelphia community. This past May, he visited Amtrak crash victims at the hospital. He regularly promotes green initiatives in Philadelphia by serving as a spokesman for SEPTA, the city's public transit system, and partners with the innovative sustainable living app, My Milk Crate. He recently teamed with Capital One and Indego to promote Philadelphia's new bike-share program. In fact, Connor often rides his bike to work instead of driving, and has encouraged teammates to do the same.

The Eagles haven't had a Walter Payton award winner since retired cornerback and current NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent took home the honor in 2002.

Barwin, along with each of the 32 team nominees, will receive a $5,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to the charity of their choice. Two runner-ups will receive an additional $6,000 donation, and the winner will receive an additional $50,000 donation in his name.

Finalists will be announced in January 2016. The award winner will be announced during the Annual NFL Honors awards show on Feb. 6.