Arizona Cardinals Zach Ertz named Arizona Cardinals/Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz (86) runs against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Cody Barton...
Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz (86) runs against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Cody Barton (57) during the first half of an NFL football game in Glendale, Ariz., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)(Ross D. Franklin | AP)
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 12:40 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz has been named “Arizona Cardinals/Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year” for 2022 in recognition of his excellence on the field and community service activities off the field. As one of 32 nominees for the national “Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year” award, Ertz will receive a donation of up to $40,000 in his name to the charity of his choice.

“Whether in Philadelphia or now in Arizona, Zach and Julie Ertz are making a meaningful difference in so many areas,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said. “Among the most notable is their passionate commitment to fighting hunger and food insecurity, a cause they championed almost immediately upon arriving in Arizona last year.”

All 32 winners will be recognized during the week leading up to Super Bowl LVII with the winner chosen the Thursday before the big game during NFL Honors. The winner will be given $250,000 to give to the charity of his choice.

Ertz suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Nov. 13 game against the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, Calif. He’s now recovering after having surgery.

Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz (86) looks on before an NFL football game against the Los...
Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz (86) looks on before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)(Kyusung Gong | AP)

All “Man of the Year” nominees will wear a helmet decal beginning this weekend through the end of the season to recognize their accomplishments. Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt and former “Man of the Year” Calais Campbell and Russell Wilson will wear their jersey patch to honor their accomplishments. Ertz with his The Ertz Family Foundation, founded in 2018, and The Athletes’ Corner have dedicated themselves to fighting hunger in the community.

An example of the helmet decal is seen on the helmet of New York Giant’s Dalvin Tomlinson while playing against the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 20, 2020 in New Jersey:

New York Giants nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (94) seen with the 'Walter Payton Man Of The Year'...
New York Giants nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (94) seen with the 'Walter Payton Man Of The Year' sticker on his helmet before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)(Adam Hunger | AP)

Both foundations launched their “Score More n’ Feed More” again this year, bringing meals to foodbanks on every touchdown with the Cardinals. Since its conception three years ago, “Score More n’ Feed More” has provided 1.4 million meals to families in need with Feeding America. Back in his hometown of Philadelphia, Ertz donated more than $100,000 to the House of Hope in the northern part of the city as well as Hunting Park, PA. The goal to finish both projects is to raise $1.2 million, and so far $950,000 has been pledged to the cause.

The award is a “most prestigious accolade,” according to the NFL, an honor doled out annually by the league named for former Chicago Bears running back and lifetime humanitarian Walter Payton. The Bears and Kansas City Chiefs have had more winners of the award than any other team in NFL history, with the Steelers and Chargers just behind. The first award was given to Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas in 1970. In 2021, Andrew Whitworth, left tackle for the Los Angeles Rams, was awarded after having been nominated two years in a row prior to the win.

Below features Russel Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, after winning the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award:

FILE - Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson speaks after winning the Walter Payton NFL...
FILE - Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson speaks after winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year awards at the NFL Honors ceremony as part of Super Bowl 55 Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Derrick Henry and Tyrann Mathieu, 2020 All-Pro players, are among the 32 men chosen as finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)(Charlie Riedel | AP)