Packers nominate RB Aaron Jones for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers have nominated running back Aaron Jones for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award for the 2021 season. According to the NFL, the award seeks to recognize “an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field.” You can watch the NFL’s introduction of the 32 nominees here.

Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said, “We are so proud of Aaron and all the work he does off the field for the community here in Wisconsin and in his hometown of El Paso. He exemplifies what it means to be devoted to both his team and his community. He is a great player, and an even better person. We are so fortunate to have him in Green Bay.”

Jones has spent a lot of time and effort finding ways to give back to his community in his home town of El Paso, Texas and in Green Bay. Jones is the son of two U.S. Army veterans and has participated heavily in the Packers’ Salute to Service initiatives.

Jones also established the A&A All The Way Foundation with his twin brother, Alvin. The foundation aims to make an impact in the lives of our nation’s youth through charitable giving and action. They have hosted a free skills camp in Jones’ hometown of El Paso, Texas for the last four years. More than 4,000 campers attended this past year. They’ve also launched the “Freedom Is” program which creates videos to help children of deployed military members.

Speaking of the nomination, Jones said, “It means everything to me. Me and my family have always been big on giving back to the community and different things like that. Just to be mentioned in the same sentence as some of these guys who are nominated or some of these guys who have won before is a huge honor.”

Each nominee for the award will receive an up to $40,000 donation to the charity of their choice and the winner will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors before the Super Bowl in February. Jones will wear a “Man of the Year” helmet decal for the remainder of the season.

Packer’s quarterback Bart Starr won the first annual Gladiator Award in 1969. The award was renamed to the NFL Man of the Year award in 1970, and renamed again to honor Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton in 1999. The only other Packer to win the award was Jim Flanagan in 2000.