Meet Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Finalist, Trey Burton

Wanda Wiedman
Chicago Bears Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

Since 1970, the Man of the Year award was given to players who went over and beyond in outstanding community service on and off the field, and still perform with extreme excellence on the field. It was renamed after the Chicago Bears greatest running back of all-time in 1999.

Alongside Payton, who won his award in 1977, is Dave Duerson (1987), Mike Singletary (1990), Jim Flanigan (2000), and Charles Tillman (2013). Former Bears Julius Peppers (Panthers) and Robbie Gould (49ers) are also finalists for their prospective causes.

This year, the Chicago Bears have chosen tight end Trey Burton as their nominee.

I want to address the work that Burton has been pouring his heart and soul into, and that is the International Justice Mission. This organization aims at eliminating slave trade.

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Christian Kirksey is Cleveland Browns nominee for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

What is your “Why?”  That is the question Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey asked his teammates during training camp. It became a highlight of this season’s edition of the HBO series Hard Knocks. 

And part of his “Why?” has always been combining football with community service, giving back to those who helped him and being a role model for our youth.

Originally drafted by the Browns in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Kirksey has become a leader in the locker room and a real presence in the community. His Kirkoland Foundation was established to help children, both in Cleveland where he plays and in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was born and raised.

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Matthew Stafford is the Detroit Lions nominee for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

Sonja Greenfield Detroit Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

“To whom much is given, much is required”

That was something that my mom used to always tell me as a kid, and sometimes now even though I consider myself grown!  But honestly, it took until I was grown to really understand what this meant.  Now that I really get it, I think it’s a wonderful way to describe the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been the leader of this Detroit Lions team for 10 seasons.  He has been a comeback player of the year, his name has been tossed around in both MVP conversations and trade conversations among fans.   But one thing you can’t deny about John Matthew Stafford is his commitment to the Detroit community.

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