The Broncos have selected linebacker Wesley Woodyard as their Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award recipient for the second consecutive season. Woodyard was notified of the honor in a team meeting (see above photo) Thursday morning.
The award recognizes a player for outstanding leadership both on the field and in the community.
Woodyard, who is in his fourth consecutive year as a team captain, works to improve the lives of children through his 16Ways foundation and through the NFL Play 60 initiative. He has organized two fundraising events for the foundation – an MVP dinner held at Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Denver and his annual toy drive at the Denver Aquarium.
The team will honor Woodyard during Sunday’s game vs. New England, and a $10,000 donation will be made on his behalf to the charities of his choice. Woodyard’s name will be submitted to the NFL for consideration as the national award winner, which is announced during Super Bowl week. That national winner will receive a $25,000 donation to the organization of his choice courtesy of NFL Charities.
Previous Broncos nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award include Champ Bailey (2008-09), cornerback Domonique Foxworth (2007), wide receiver Rod Smith (2006 and ’04), safety John Lynch (2005), linebacker Ian Gold (2003) and wide receiver Ed McCaffrey (2002).
Quarterback John Elway is the only Broncos player to win the national award, which was first given in 1970 and renamed after the Chicago Bears’ Pro Football Hall of Fame running back in 1999.