All 32 players up for this year’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award are more-than-deserving and serve as reminders that 98% of players in the NFL are good people who want to help their team and their community. But Cam Heyward winning the award would be extra special. A five-time nominee, Heyward will find out this year’s winner during tonight’s NFL Honors.
Appearing on Good Morning Football Thursday morning, Heyward admitted it’s been weighing on his mind.
“I’m a little nervous about tonight,” Heyward said. “There’s NFL Honors tonight, you don’t know who’s gonna win. I would love to win but I just don’t know.”
Heyward has been a valued member on and off the field. His Heyward House Foundation has helped out so many in the Pittsburgh community for years. Years ago, he started Craig’s Closet that provided suits and dress clothes for children who couldn’t otherwise afford them. This year, he created Cam’s Kindness Week that featured a variety of events including a trip to Children’s Hospital along with a library program that set up mini-libraries around Pittsburgh to give kids books to read in honor of Heyward’s grandparents who were both teachers.
Though Heyward would love to win, he knows every player nominated is worthy.
“It’s a truly a pleasure to be associated with a award like this. There are 31 other nominees that have just been kicking tail around the league.”
No Steeler has won the award since RB Jerome Bettis in 2001. Heyward has been the Steelers’ nominee the last four seasons but lost out on the award each time. Perhaps the fifth time will be the charm and it feels like if there’s going to be a year he wins it, it’ll be this one. It’d be a great way to cap off a busy couple of weeks for Heyward who attended this year’s Pro Bowl, is now at this year’s Super Bowl, and doing tons of media appearances including the most recent episode of his own podcast. Adding a Walter Payton Award would be a terrific way to end things.
The winner will be announced tonight during NFL Honors which kicks off at 9 PM/EST. Other awards that will be revealed include MVP, Rookies of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year.