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Steven Means selected as Falcons Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee

A prestigious award, and a deserving candidate.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons announced Thursday that the team has nominated defensive end Steven Means for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field.

The award, which was established in 1970, was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community. The winner of the award each year receives $250,000 donated to the charity of his choice. The other 31 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation in their name donated to their charity of choice.

This year’s Falcons nominee, Steven Means, has been a leader both on and off the field, which the award recognizes. Before signing with the Falcons in 2018, Means spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles. He’s currently tied for second in sacks on the team with 3.

The only Falcons player to win the award was Warrick Dunn in 2004. Regardless if Means wins it or not, just to be nominated is an honor, and it exemplifies the type of person he is. Congratulations, Steven Means!