(WKBN) – The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers have each named their nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
On Tuesday, the NFL announced that Brown guard Joel Bitonio and Steelers nose tackle Cameron Heyward were named as two of the 32 nominees for the award.
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence both on and off the field. The award was established in 1970. According to NFL.com, each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community.
According to WJW.com, Bitonio and his wife have been ambassadors for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. He has also served as a co-chair of “Taste of the Browns.”
The former All-Pro has helped with Shop with a Pro event every year since joining the Browns. Bitonio has also participated in outreach programs for A Kid Again, which supports families who have children with life-threatening conditions.
According to WTAE-TV, Heyward is an active member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, working with Craig’s Closet and the Heyward House. The Steelers team captain hosted his first Cam’s Kindness Week earlier this season as a way to give back to the Pittsburgh community with acts of kindness.
Bitonio would be the first Cleveland Browns player to receive the honor. Heyward hopes to become the first Steelers player to win the award since Jerome Bettis in 2001.
According to NFL.com, the winner of the award each year receives $250,000 donated to the winner’s charity of choice, while the other nominees receive up to $40,000 donated to their charity of choice. The 2022 winner will be revealed during NFL Honors before Super Bowl LVII.