Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports


Arik Armstead the 49ers’ nominee for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

Dec 7, 2021 at 6:15 AM--


For the second year in a row, San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead is among the 32 players nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The award is given out each year honoring an NFL player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field.

Each team nominates a player for the award, and the 32 nominees will be pared down to three finalists, who will be announced in January. The winner will be announced at the NFL Honors awards presentation before the Super Bowl.

"The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the League's most prestigious honor and these 32 men represent their many teammates who do incredible things in their communities," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell via a statement. "Their unwavering commitment to their hometowns and team communities embodies Walter's spirit of giving back in a way that makes us all incredibly proud of the work they are doing every day."

Anquan Boldin is the only 49ers player to win the award. He did so in 2015 after his final season in San Francisco. Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, is the most recent award winner.

"This summer, Arik donated $250,000 to Mercy Housing California, an affordable housing organization rooted in his hometown of Sacramento, gaining him recognition as the Week 4 NFLPA Community MVP," wrote the NFL. "Arik's generosity has provided over 400 students with academic support, after-school programming, and career exploration opportunities, including college campus, visits through the Leataata Floyd Student and Family Community Center, a joint resource program offered by Mercy Housing and the Sacramento City Unified School District, which he has partnered with since its inception and his first year in the NFL.

"One of Arik's primary focuses is providing underserved youth with equal opportunities for success. As the leader of the 49ers Player Social Justice Council, Arik mentored youth from 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, one of the team's Social Justice grantees, as part of their monthly 49ers Wisdom Session program. Arik led active dialogue around leadership, character development, and academic excellence with the students from Oakland. Arik has also continued to grow his Storytime with Arik Armstead program to motivate students to read. Arik headlined the Read for Justice program, distributing books to over 2,000 San Francisco Unified School District students that emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion and supported a black-owned business and author of color. This past November, Arik added another dimension to his literacy program by providing free reading glasses to hundreds of Bay Area student participants. Arik also furthered his support of education initiatives at a local Title 1 school by providing $2,500 towards science kits and academic supplies."

All 32 nominees will receive up to a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.

Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee's last name or Twitter handle. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between December 7 and January 17 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide.

Armstead, along with all of the 2021 nominees, will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning Week 14 and continuing through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.

The 49ers drafted Armstead with the No. 17 overall pick in 2015. He has recorded 36 tackles, four tackles for a loss, three sacks, and five quarterback hits through 12 games this season. Armstead has registered 237 tackles, 25.5 sacks, six passes defended, and three forced fumbles through 90 games in his seven NFL seasons.

Below is a list of the other 31 nominees across the NFL.

  • Kelvin Beachum, Arizona Cardinals
  • Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons
  • Bradley Bozeman, Baltimore Ravens
  • Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills
  • DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers
  • Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears
  • Sam Hubbard, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns
  • Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
  • Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos
  • Jason Cabinda, Detroit Lions
  • Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
  • Justin Reid, Houston Texans
  • Kenny Moore II, Indianapolis Colts
  • Myles Jack, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders
  • Corey Linsley, Los Angeles Chargers
  • Andrew Whitworth, Los Angeles Rams
  • Jerome Baker, Miami Dolphins
  • Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings
  • Lawrence Guy, New England Patriots
  • Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints
  • Logan Ryan, New York Giants
  • Quinnen Williams, New York Jets
  • Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
  • Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
  • Jonathan Allen, Washington Football Team


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