Brandon Graham is the Philadelphia Eagles’ Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee for the 2022 NFL season, according to an official league announcement. The annual award is designed to recognize “outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.”
As a player, Graham is still making valuable contributions. The 34-year-old has 5.5 sacks this season despite coming off the Achilles injury he suffered last year. Graham is four sacks behind his career high of 9.5 with five regular season games left to play. While one wouldn’t say it’s likely he finally gets to his goal of hitting double digits, it’s not impossible.
Graham is actually Pro Football Focus’s fifth-highest graded edge defender this year. That much isn’t surprising since Graham has consistently been rated highly by PFF’s grading throughout his career. Still, interesting to see him only behind Myles Garrett, Micah Parsons, Maxx Crosby, and Nick Bosa.
As a person, all accounts indicate Graham is a great dude. He’s a jovial presence that coaches and teammates say they love to be around. Graham absolutely contributes to the Eagles having good vibes.
The Eagles’ official website has more on Graham’s charity initiatives:
Brandon and Carlyne work together to run Team Graham, a fund that offers its time and resources to various organizations and causes in his hometown of Detroit, including mentoring children and providing clothes and food to families in need. Through Team Graham, the pair facilitated boys and girls football camps, which included lifelong learning experiences that integrated yoga, self-defense, obstacle courses, and more.
Both growing up on the city’s Eastside, the two met in the Detroit public school system in 2002; it was natural for their community efforts to begin there. But now, as full-time residents in Philadelphia, they’re working hard to implement their programs in the city they now call home.
“Next year, we will have a busy offseason, starting something new in Philly,” Graham said.
“It’s all about the community of people. I’ve got my kids and I know that they’re the future. So, we’ve got to pour into them even more now, so that when I’m older, our future could be a lot brighter. That was the whole reasoning behind Team Graham, working with a team of people for one common cause – whatever was dear to our heart.”
At the very least, it’s cool to see Graham being recognized as a nominee. It would be really cool if he’s able to take home the award. He deserves it.
The winner of this year’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award will receive $250,000 donated to the winner’s charity of choice. All other 31 nominees receive up to $40,000 donated to their charity of choice.
You can lend support to Graham by voting for him in the Nationwide Charity Challenge. Here’s how:
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide’s 8th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee’s last name and/or his Twitter handle anywhere within the tweet. The player whose unique mention is used the most between Dec. 6 and Jan. 8 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.