The NFL today announced Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver VINCENT JACKSON among the 32 players who have been named their team's Man of the Year. Representing the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact, these players are now eligible to win the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field.
As one of the 32 team nominees, Jackson will receive a $5,000 donation to the charity of his choice. Three of the 32 nominees will be selected as finalists for the award, named for the Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton, who died in 1999. Finalists will be announced in January 2016.
The winner will be announced during the 5th Annual NFL Honors awards show, a two-hour primetime special airing nationally on Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50, from 9-11 p.m. ET on CBS.
The overall award winner will be selected by an elite panel of judges including Commissioner Roger Goodell, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, Connie Payton, Anthony Muñoz, LaDainian Tomlinson and the 2014 award recipient, Thomas Davis. The winner will receive an additional $50,000 donation to his charity of choice. The two runners-up will also receive an additional $6,000 donation to their charity of choice. Donations will be courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
"Serving their communities and philanthropic causes is a strong and long-standing tradition of NFL players," said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. "These outstanding young men embrace and represent that important commitment of giving back to our communities. We salute and thank our players for their leadership."
In addition, Nationwide will execute the inaugural Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Charity Challenge. Team nominees each have a unique hashtag and fans are encouraged to tweet using specific player hashtags. Buccaneers fans are encouraged to use the unique hashtags #JacksonWPMOYChallenge and #WPMOYChallenge. The player hashtag that generates the most mentions will win a $20,000 donation from Nationwide to a charity of choice.
The best photos of wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
Since joining the Buccaneers in 2012, Jackson has established himself as a leader in Tampa Bay. The three-time Pro Bowler has quickly ascended the franchise receiving ranks and continues to reset the bar on the football field. Now a three-time Buccaneers Man of the Year, as well as a three-time nominee and 2014 runner-up for the NFL's Salute to Service Award presented by USAA, the 11-year NFL veteran and four-time Buccaneers team captain has not only embraced his role as a league ambassador for military appreciation, but he has continued to find new and innovative ways to connect with those whose path he's walked, having been raised in a military family.
In 2014, Jackson and his wife, Lindsey, took pen to paper for a unique and impactful project that would not only serve as an outlet for the challenges Jackson faced as a military child, but support the lives of a younger generation enduring the same experiences. Danny Dogtags: Dealing with Deployment, officially hit bookshelves in 2014 to rave reviews from children and families in Tampa Bay and beyond, and will hopefully serve as the first in a series of stories written by Jackson about the main character, Danny Dogtags, and lessons on embracing the military lifestyle.
This fall, Jackson took on his biggest challenge yet, as the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation hosted their inaugural Military Resource and Employment Symposium, presented by USAA, at the Florida State Fairgrounds. The one-day event provided veterans and military families with career opportunities, educational assistance, and resources necessary to aid their transition from military to civilian life. The event included a career fair, a resource fair, and speaking sessions from professionals in their field related to topics important to veterans and military members, providing more than 1,000 military members and their families with information on career opportunities and resources. Later in November, the foundation hosted Thanksgiving dinner for 50 military members who had a family member deployed or were otherwise unable to be with extended family during the holiday.
One of Jackson's most popular initiatives is one that showcases the softer side of the 6-5, 230-pound receiver. In July, Jackson hosted the Second Annual Military Moms Baby Shower for 40 expecting or recently delivered military moms from MacDill Air Force Base and Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. Jackson and his wife again surprised each woman with more than $1,000 in merchandise, including a stroller and car seat for each family, to help them care for their infant, and thousands of dollars in additional gifts and prizes were raffled off.
These types of initiatives stretch throughout the calendar year. This past June, Jackson once again welcomed 100 military children to One Buc Place for the third annual Youth in Action Camp; the Salute to Reading Program launched year three in 2015, inspiring local youths to achieve reading goals with the prize of Buccaneers facility tours and a year-end celebration hosted by Jackson; for the fourth year in a row, the "Jackson in Action" Front Row Fans section at Raymond James Stadium provides a special gameday experience for dozens of local military families; and the Salute to Scholars program added a scholarship in 2015 to award two $2,500 scholarships, one at Jackson's high school alma mater in Colorado Springs, CO and one in the Tampa Bay area, to a military dependent entering college.
In addition, the foundation's 2014 Back to School Supply Drop geared 150 children at MacDill Air Force Base with new backpacks full of school supplies; last year's Military Family Home Makeover provided the home of Staff Sergeant Jessica Fleurimond in Tampa with a beautiful interior redesign in time for Veterans' Day; dozens of children with a deployed parent joined Jackson at his Fall Festival for a fun-filled day of hayrides, animal encounters, games, and lunch at Old McMicky's Farm; and his annual Santa Social event offered a special holiday party for young military families, including an evening with Jackson and Santa, arts and crafts, holiday snacks, and gifts for the children.
For more information on all 32 team nominees and the award, visit www.NFL.com/manoftheyear.
Below is a list of recent Buccaneers Man of the Year winners, dating back to 2000:
2015: WR Vincent Jackson
2014: WR Vincent Jackson
2013: WR Vincent Jackson
2012: G Davin Joseph
2011: G Davin Joseph
2010: LB Adam Hayward
2009: RB Clifton Smith
2008: QB Jeff Garcia
2007: K Matt Bryant
2006: CB Ronde Barber
2005: LB Ryan Nece
2004: LB Shelton Quarles
2003: S John Lynch
2002: S John Lynch
2001: S John Lynch
2000: LB Derrick Brooks (NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner)