What does it mean to be a Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee? Since we’re talking about an award handed out annually by the NFL, one would automatically assume that “Man of the Year” is specifically in regards to your on-the-field performance. While your stat sheet does play somewhat of a role as far as nominations go, the majority of what’s considered by the NFL criteria-wise is a player's philanthropy and community impact. Established in 1970 and previously known simply as the “Man of the Year Award,” the reward is regarded as not just one of the most prestigious honors in the NFL, but within the entirety of sports as a whole. While you’ve seen plenty of New England Patriots’ cornerback Jonathan Jones on the field over the years, what you haven’t really been seeing is his philanthropic work and charitable efforts behind the scenes—something Jones has been committed to since before he ever set foot on an NFL field.
"Charity started for me from the time I was young," Jones tells ONE37pm, adding: "I remember my best friend's mom would make us hand out bags to the local soup kitchen before we could do anything else. We would go around the community and deliver to the doors of people who couldn't actually make it into a soup kitchen physically. That continued throughout high school, and since I've gotten to the NFL, I've been able to use the platform I've been blessed with to give back."