One of the NFL‘s most prestigious awards will soon be handed out ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.
This is not the Most Valuable Player trophy, though. It’s an award that honors a player’s efforts beyond the field and recognizes his impact in the community: The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
What Are the Charities Attached to the 2024 Walter Payton Award?
Named after the iconic Chicago Bears running back, the award “recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field.”
The Walter Payton Man of the Year winner receives a $250,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. All 32 nominees can earn $55,000 to the charity of their choice. All donations to the charities are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
What are the charities in this year’s award? Which players are involved? Finally, how can others donate? Here’s the complete list:
Jonathan Ledbetter, defensive lineman, Led a Better Way Foundation
- Specializing in youth mentorship in the Greater Atlanta and Phoenix communities.
Bradley Pinion, punter, Punts for Purpose
- Donates $1,000 to Compassion International, a charity supporting child survival centers, for every punt that falls inside the 20-yard line.
Roquan Smith, linebacker, Roquan Smith Foundation
- Dedicated to strengthening families that provide programs emphasizing parenting, vocational training, behavioral health and financial literacy. Has also been involved with T.A.P.S (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) by helping decorated wooden flags for families of first responders and the military.
Dion Dawkins, offensive tackle, Dion’s Dreamers
- Provides mentorship for young men and women in underserved communities plus those facing financial, mental, and physical hardship.
Bradley Bozeman, center, Bradley and Nikki Bozeman Foundation
- Created as an anti-bullying establishment. The foundation is committed to strengthening communities through youth engagement, food security, and equality in childhood education.
Justin Jones, defensive tackle, South Cobb High Football
- Jones is active in assisting the youth as a mentor, including at-risk and underprivileged kids. He’s aiming to improve the resources at his high school alma mater in Austell, Georgia.
Ted Karras, offensive tackle, Village of Merici
- Assists adults with physical and mental disabilities and focuses on independent living for special need adults.
Anthony Walker Jr., linebacker, Stay in the Game Network
- Aims to improve student attendance in school. Also partners with the Ohio Department of Education.
Demarcus Lawrence, linebacker, Faith Fight Finish Foundation
- Lawrence is donating to his teammate Dak Prescott’s foundation, which specializes in the following four initiatives: colon cancer research, mental health and suicide prevention, bridging the gap between law enforcement, youth, and the communities they serve, and offering assistance to those facing life-challenging hardships.
Garrett Bolles, offensive tackle, Garrett Bolles Foundation
- Also known as “GB3,” the foundation aims to empower children with learning disabilities and helps pair them with the right mentors and educational strategies.
Frank Ragnow, center, Rags Remembered Foundation
- Dedicated to creating a meaningful and therapeutic outdoor experience for grieving families and financially disadvantaged youth.
Green Bay Packers
De’Vondre Campbell, linebacker, De’Vondre Campbell Family Youth Foundation
- Helps empower at-risk youth and families in need through resource distribution, scholarship, educational advancement, and mentorship based programming.
Jon Weeks, long snapper, Child Advocates Houston
- Aims to break the cycle of child abuse and looks to place children in a safer environment.
Zaire Franklin, linebacker, Shelice’s Angel
- Inspired to help young women and provide resources to elevate their self-esteem outside of their current environment.
Dawuane Smoot, linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation
- Aims to uplift the Jacksonville community by providing economic and equal opportunity for the city’s youth.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, 15 and the Mahomes Foundation
- Provides support for health and wellness communities in need of resources and other charitable causes for youth.
Las Vegas Raiders
Maxx Crosby, defensive end, The Maxx Crosby Foundation
- Nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the support of teen substance abuse intervention, youth health and wellness, animal rescue and abuse prevention, and other charitable causes.
Los Angeles Chargers
Derwin James, safety, Safety Corner Foundation
- Designed to help provide meals to L.A. Food Banks for every interception, sack, and fumble recovery the Chargers’ defense produces.
Los Angeles Rams
Cooper Kupp, wide receiver, Gary Sinise Foundation
- Named after the actor, the foundation assists veterans, first responders, and their families.
Alec Ingold, Fullback, Ingold Family Foundation
- The foundation aims to connect Miami-area youth with community leaders in an effort to set kids up for success.
Harrison Phillips, defensive tackle, Harrison’s Playmakers
- The Vikings defender created a foundation that coaches and mentors kids facing social, physical, and economic challenges.
New England Patriots
Jonathan Jones, cornerback, Next Step Foundation
- Encourages professional development of youth through education and mentorship.
New Orleans Saints
Tyrann Mathieu, safety, Tyrann Mathieu Foundation
- Encourages youth facing financial and social challenges in the New Orleans community.
New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, running back, Michael Ann and Saquon Barkley Foundation
- Helps provide scholarships, educational assistance, and athletic guidance throughout the U.S. as a nonprofit organization.
New York Jets
Solomon Thomas, defensive tackle, The Defensive Line Foundation
- Honoring his late sister Ella, Thomas’ foundation aims to put an end to youth suicide, especially for children of color, by transforming the way people communicate and connect about mental health.
Lane Johnson, offensive tackle, Travis Manion Foundation
- Designed to empower veterans and families of the fallen, the TMF also helps develop and train role models.
Cameron Heyward, defensive lineman, The Heyward House
- Committed to addressing food insecurities, childhood cancer, and education involving today’s youth.
San Francisco 49ers
Arik Armstead, defensive lineman, Armstead Academic Project
- Aimed to ensure all children, regardless of social disability or socioeconomic status, has direct access to the resources needed to thrive, including tools and academic support.
Bobby Wagner, linebacker, Phenia Mae Fund
- Created to support research and create awareness about strokes. Was founded after Wagner lost his mother to a stroke.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Antoine Winfield Jr., safety, A Kid’s Place and Heart Gallery of Tampa
- Supports foster children by providing a safe haven, including psychological services.
Jeffery Simmons, defensive tackle, Give Em a Reason Foundation
- Aims to provide resources for children through sport.
Terry McLaurin, wide receiver, Terry McLaurin Foundation
- Mission is to allow underserved kids to be the best versions of themselves. Seeks to provide educational, social, and health/wellness support.
As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!