grady jarrett named falcons man of the year dt grady jarrett NAMED THE ATLANTA FALCONS NOMINEE FOR the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Atlanta Falcons have announced that DT Grady Jarrett has been nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award was established in 1970. It was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton. Each team nominates one player who has had significant positive impact on his community.

the man under the helmet

Having grown up just 24 miles east of Atlanta, the city means a lot to the Clemson alum. Jarrett was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round (137th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Since joining the Falcons, the Conyers, Georgia native has been heavily involved within the community.

"Being nominated for Man of the Year is an accomplishment. Giving back and making an impact on people's lives in a real way is very important to me." - Grady Jarrett

A Night to Remember

On November 14, Jarrett visited Atlanta Mission: Shepherd's Inn for the second-straight year to provide and help serve dinner to the men at the shelter.

During the dinner, Jarrett learned of some special news that was later announced to his team the next day...

His mom, Elisha, was there to help serve dinner and got the opportunity to see her son be named the Atlanta Falcons 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

Throughout 2018 Jarrett has taken great initiative in leading the Atlanta Falcons social justice efforts, and since joining the Falcons in 2015 has made it a priority to give back to the Georgia community.

Big Men Don't Bully

During his rookie season, Jarrett started, "Big Men Don't Bully" - an anti-bullying campaign that educates youth about the harmful effects of bullying. In 2016, Jarrett received the opportunity to speak to elected leaders at the State House of Representatives at the Georgia State Capital to advocate the campaign's anti-bullying efforts.

"It was cool to be able to speak to the leaders of the state of Georgia. The message is to just love each other. Be that light in a dark place. Have some random acts of kindness. Treat others the way you want to be treated, because at the end of the day, everybody just wants to feel loved." - Grady Jarrett

Recently he has partnered with the Atlanta Police Department Foundation's, At Promise Center, and the Police/Teen Mentoring Program at the Thomasville Heights Boys & Girls Club to speak to youth about the importance of anti-bullying and to encourage those who are either victims of bullying or have witnessed it, to speak up.

A Team Effort

In part of the NFL's recent expansion to its social justice platform, Jarrett helped implement a Social Justice Committee within the Atlanta Falcons. The committee, which includes other players from the Falcons, focuses on developing initiatives and strategies with the goal of getting the team more involved within the city of Atlanta. Throughout numerous discussions, Jarrett has put a focus on the importance of spending more time with the local youth of Atlanta.

"Besides the aspect of just playing football - which I love to do and I excel at it - I also want to be known as somebody who has used their platform to make somebody's life better." - Grady Jarrett

Not only is Jarrett a leader in the Falcons' off the field projects, but he has an influential voice in the locker room. In addition to his involvement in Social Justice initiatives, Jarrett serves as a "Chief" for the Falcons - a position that is selected by his teammates and coaches that is considered to be an official leader of the team.

All About the Youth

In addition to his "Big Men Don't Bully" campaign, Jarrett has taken part in the league-wide character-building program, Character Playbook - a digital learning experience that uses evidence-based strategies to educate students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years.

Over the last two years Jarrett has donated 20 season tickets to organizations that help support character-based programs for youth in Georgia.

Took One Visit To Become A Tradition

In 2017, Jarrett visited Atlanta Mission: Shepherd's Center to help prepare and serve a Thanksgiving meal to the men at the shelter. That one visit sparked a tradition as Jarrett returned to the shelter just a few weeks ago for the second-straight year to spend an early Thanksgiving with the men, bringing along his mom Elisha and a few more Atlanta Falcons representatives.

“Giving back is very important, especially in this holiday season. We wanted to make it a special experience for the men involved so they had a lot of fun. It was good to be able to provide them with good spirits and good vibes, they really had a great time.” - Grady Jarrett

Not just an influence off the field...

"We all see how hard he plays and the strain that he puts in behind the scenes. Grady puts in a lot of work. He's one of the hardest workers that we have and that I've been around." - Head Coach Dan Quinn

Jarrett has developed into a leader in the locker room throughout his four-year career with the Falcons - leading him to play 57 games (42 starts) while recording 164 tackles (87 solo) and 27 tackles for a loss, 12.0 sacks for a loss of 80.0 yards, 34 quarterback hits and a career-high two forced fumbles, which both occurred in Week 13 against the Baltimore Ravens.

During his second season in the NFL, he tied a league record with three sacks in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots.

As nominee, Jarrett will wear a Walter Payton Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the 2018 season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.

Five active players including New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, Carolina Panthers LB Thomas Davis, Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, New York Giants QB Eli Manning and Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt, have each received the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award and will wear a patch on their jersey for the rest of their careers to honor their accomplishments.

don't forget to tune in

The 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special that will air nationally on February 2, the eve of Super Bowl LIII, on CBS. NFL Honors will be held at Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

New this year, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as finalists and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LIII.

Fans are encouraged to participate in the fourth annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote by using #WPMOYChallenge on Twitter with their favorite nominee’s last name somewhere in the post between December 6 and January 13.

For Jarrett, that hashtag is #WPMOYChallengeJarrett

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...to help support

For more information about the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, please visit the link below.

Created By
Alexandra Aiello


Atlanta Falcons

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