- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Washington Commanders left tackle Charles Leno Jr. is the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the organization announced Tuesday. 

Leno, a nine-year veteran, is in his second season in Washington after spending seven years with Chicago. 

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes one NFL player for their dedication to community service off the field as well as their performance on the field. All 32 teams nominate one player, and the winner is chosen during the week leading up to the Super Bowl in February. 

“The Walter Payton Man of the Year honor holds a special place in my heart,” coach Ron Rivera said in a team press release. “As a former teammate and friend of Walter Payton, I know how big of an honor being the team nominee is. From the moment that Charles arrived in the DMV he immediately made his presence known in the community by helping those less fortunate.”

In 2020, Leno and his wife, Jennifer, founded Beyond the Entertainer, a nonprofit organization focused on “mentoring, empowering, and inspiring the community of all ages,” according to the foundation’s website. The Lenos also spearhead Leno Claus, a countdown to Christmas during which their foundation works with 20 different nonprofits to donate holiday gifts and money. 

On the field, Leno has yet to miss a single snap in any of the Commanders’ 13 games this season. 

The 32 nominees will receive up to a $40,000 donation in their name to a charity of their choice. The winner of the Walter Payton award will get up to $250,000 in a donation to charity. 


• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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