It feels like Chris Long has been a member of the Eagles for way longer than just two seasons, partly because in that time he’s shown an incredible commitment to both his team and the community. He’s being honored for that commitment as the Eagles’ team nominee for the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
This award is among the most prestigious in the NFL, and players are nominated for their outstanding community service efforts and their excellence on the field. Long has already proven what he can do as a defensive player, but he’s exemplified what someone in his position can do for others — from donating his entire 2017 paycheck to charity, to committing even more funds in 2018 to support an initiative to get kids on a local and national level reading.
Long is now one of 32 finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, and the winner will receive a total of $500,000 in donations in their name. That money will be split between a $250,000 donation in their name to expand Character Playbook (the NFL and United Way’s digital character education program), and $250,000 to a charity of their choice.
Even if Long doesn’t win the overall Award, the rest of the 31 nominees will receive a donation of $50,000 in their name to Character Playbook, and an additional $50,000 to a charity of their choice. And all 32 players will get a Man of the Year helmet decal to display beginning Week 14 through the end of the season.
“The Man of the Year Award gives us the opportunity to acknowledge 32 exemplary players whose commitment to excellence extends on and off the field,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “This year’s nominees have used their platforms to transform communities across the country. We are proud of their work and celebrate their dedication and impact through this award.”
This year’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner will be announced during NFL Honors (at Fox Theatre in Atlanta) on February 2, the night before Super Bowl LIII on CBS.