Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long was named the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes a player for outstanding community service activities off the field and excellence on the field.
"Chris Long continues to amaze and inspire us with his generous spirit and tireless commitment to many communities and cities," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "He is a role model for us all. He exemplifies the legacy of service and leadership that this recognition represents. We congratulate him on this well-deserved award."
"Long's dedication to making a difference in his community is a shining example of the positive impact one person can make in the lives of others," said Nationwide Chief Marketing Officer Terrance Williams. "Nationwide congratulates Long on being named this year's Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year and thanks all the nominees for their service."
This is the second time Long has been named his team's Man of the Year. In 2015, after being named the St. Louis Rams' Man of the Year, Long established the Chris Long Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to engage and create programs focused around four main philanthropic causes: clean water, military appreciation, homelessness and youth.
Long celebrated his 10th season playing in the NFL by donating his entire year's salary, roughly $1 million, to support educational initiatives in the cities where he has played — St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia. Long used the occasion to encourage his fans to join him in the effort, resulting in an additional $750,000 in donations.
Long will receive $500,000 in charitable funds. Half of the donations will go to a charity of his choice and the other will support the expansion of Character Playbook, a digital education program funded by the NFL and United Way.
To learn more about all 32 team finalists, visit nfl.com/manoftheyear.