Saints’ Benjamin Watson named Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist

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Oct 11, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) celebrates his 6-yard touchdown catch during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) celebrates his 6-yard touchdown catch during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson was announced as one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award on Sunday.

We first learned that Benjamin Watson was representing the Saints on December 2nd. Watson has performed extensive work with his foundation, called One More, since January 2008. The foundation, which focuses on carrying the love of Christ to members of the community which need it most, has one simple mission: be a blessing to those around us wherever we are. They focus on delivering that through each program of their own or helping existing charities.

Watson, like you’d predict, was very humbled by the announcement.

Each nominee was awarded a donation of $1,000 in their name to award to their charity of choice, and the winner will be awarded $25,000 to do the same thing. Drew Brees is the only New Orleans Saints player to win the award, formerly known as the Man of The Year. Brees shared the honor with San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006.

On the field, the 35-year-old Watson arguably had the best season of his 12-year career. He finished 2015 with 74 receptions, 825 yards and six touchdowns. However, it’s his off the field efforts that got him to this point.

San Francisco’s Anquan Boldin and New York Giants’ Eli Manning were the other two finalists. A panel of judges that consists of commissioner Roger Goodell, Connie Payton (widow of Walter Payton), last season’s winner, and a host of former players all select the winner.

Past Winners

  • 2014 – Thomas Davis, Carolina Panthers
  • 2013 – Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears
  • 2012 – Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
  • 2011 – Matt Birk, Baltimore Ravens
  • 2010 – Madieu Williams, Minnesota Vikings
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