Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year: Thomas Davis

Saturday, January 31, Carolina Panthers’ linebacker Thomas Davis was recognized for his social service off the field, as well as his stellar play on the field. Davis was named Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year at the fourth annual NFL Honors. Walter Payton’s children Jarrett and Brittney will honor Davis at the Thomas Davis

University of Phoenix Stadium prior to the start of Super Bowl XLIX. Davis will also receive $50,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice.

After receiving the award Davis said,

“I am honored to be selected as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. This award means a great deal to me, as it symbolizes the valued work that the NFL, its players, and its 32 teams do in the community. I am blessed to have such a strong support system in my family, the Carolina Panthers and the NFL, which allows me to make an impact in the communities we serve.

“I would like to recognize the outstanding efforts of each of this year’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominees. The collective compassion, commitment and service they provide to their respective teams and communities set a standard for others to follow. I would like to thank the National Football League, the Payton family, and Nationwide for recognizing the efforts of NFL players who are following the inspirational leadership and legacy of Walter Payton.”

The Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation (TDDDF) has annual programs such as back-to-school-supply giveaways, Thanksgiving meals for members of a local women’s shelter and Christmas gift giveaways for underprivileged children in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina as well as Georgia. Additionally, Davis yearly selects two graduating high school seniors who have completed the Youth Leadership Academy program and provides them with scholarships.

Davis’ off the field endeavors are well noted, but he has been one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL for the past ten years. Davis has eclipsed 100-tackle mark the past three years of his NFL career but has yet to be voted to a Pro Bowl.

Prior to Davis receiving the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, I spoke with him regarding his recovery from three ACL tears, as well as the recent Pro Bowl snubs he’s had to endure.



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