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Cam Heyward Steelers Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Nominee



Steelers DL Cam Heyward
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward at practice on Oct. 25, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Defenisve lineman Cam Heyward has been named the Steelers nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for the second consecutive season, the team announced on Tuesday.

The honor is bestowed annually to a player who not only excels on the field, but also with their service in their community. Heyward was nominated as the Steelers representative for the award for the sixth time in his career. He has never won the award.

Through the Heyward House, Cam Heyward has raised money and awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and more throughout the year. Part of it is the event Cam’s Kindness Week, which  occurred at various locations throughout the city in order to carry out different acts of kindness in the Pittsburgh community. Not only does Heyward give back through his foundation The Heyward House, but he also started the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Program in 2020, which helps promote reading in underserved communities. He also works with the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation, Blessings in a Backpack, the Boys and Girls Club, the Highmark Caring Place and many other charitable organizations.

“Pittsburgh has meant so much to my family,” Heyward said to “To get to play in this league right next door to where my dad started his football career has been really special. It’s important to me to give back to this community that has blessed my family in so many ways.”

Past Steelers to win the award include Jerome Bettis, Lynn Swann,  Joe Greene and Franco Harris.

Each team nominates one player for the award ever year, and a panel of judges, which includes previous winners, chooses the overall winner. The Man of the Year receives a $250,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. The other finalists get  $50,000 donations. The winner also gets to wear a special jersey patch for the rest of his career. The winner of the award will be announced at NFL Honors, the league’s post-season awards show.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald wears the Walter Payton Man of the Year patch on his jersey. — Keith Allison