Charles Leno Jr. Nominated for WPMOY Award

Leno Jr. Nominated for WPMOY Award originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Commanders have nominated offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. for the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year (WPMOY) Award. This award is nominated to one player from each of the 32 NFL teams who has showed dedication to philanthropy and excellence within their community.

In his second season with Washington, big #72 has made his presence felt on the field. He has not missed a single game since arriving in Landover and is a major reason why the Commanders have found so much success on offense this season. Protecting Heinicke and Wentz, along with making holes for Robinson Jr. and Gibson is just what he does best week in and week out.

As impressive as he has been on the field, can only be matched by the impact he has been making off the field as well. In 2019, Leno Jr. and his wife Jennifer started the organization, Beyond the Entertainer. The Leno’s vision is that, “there is more to the entertainer than meets the eye.”

“We as athlete’s we have this platform,” said Leno Jr. during the 60th Annual Welcome Home Luncheon. “People look at us, idolize us at times and look at us as larger than life figures, but at the end of the day we are human beings.”

NFL players have the ability at footballs highest level to be able to have their voice be heard. Leno Jr. believes it is their responsibility to act and make a difference to the youth that look up to players such as Leno Jr.

Leno Jr.’s love for football is one thing but giving back and paying it forward is a whole different side to what defines him. The NFL community is lucky to have someone as inspirational as Leno Jr., even more so are the Commanders.

The winner of the WPMOY Award will be announced during the 2023 NFL Honors ahead of Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale Arizona. The winner of the award will receive $250,000 to the charity of their choice, along with the honor of wearing the prestigious patch on their jersey.

Simply being nominated for the award is an achievement in its own. The other 31 nominees for the award will receive a consolation prize of up to $40,000 donated to the charity of their choosing.

Here is a list of the 32 nominees for this year’s award:

Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz
Atlanta Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom 
Baltimore Ravens safety Chuck Clark  
Buffalo Bills tackle Dion Dawkins 
Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Derrick Brown 
Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson  
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard 
Cleveland Browns guard Joel Bitonio  
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott  
Denver Broncos guard Dalton Risner
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff  
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones  
Houston Texans linebacker Christian Kirksey 
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard 
Jacksonville Jaguars guard Tyler Shatley  
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes  
Las Vegas Raiders punter A.J. Cole 
Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James 
Los Angeles Rams guard Tremayne Anchrum  
Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips 
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen
New England Patriots defensive lineman Lawrence Guy  
New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis  
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley
New York Jets defensive lineman Soloman Thomas 
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham 
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Hayward  
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Arik Armstead  
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett  
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston 
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry  
Washington Commanders tackle Charles Leno Jr.