The Walter Payton award has been given out every year since 1970 to recognize a players contribution to his community as well as their on field excellence. Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers won the award in 2014, and Decker will be looking to be the 3rd Jet to win the award. Marty Lyons (1984) and Boomer Esiason (1995) have previously won the award.
As the Jets nomination for the award, Decker will receive $5,000 for his charity "The Eric and Jessie Decker foundation". If he does go on to win the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, his charity will be awarded $50,000 and he'll be recognized at a press conference during Super Bowl week.
Decker along with his wife Jessie, strive to positively impact the lives of United States military service members and veterans as well as animals through their foundation. EJDF is committed to those who have served our country via Deckers Dogs, which helps fund the rescue, care and training of service dogs for military veterans returning home with physical disabilities and emotional challenges. Deckers Dogs directly supports Freedom Service Dogs of America (FSD), a Colorado-based non-profit organization.
FSD helps veterans and their families in their darkest hours while also freeing a shelter dog, allowing it to have a second lease on life supporting a veteran. Service dogs provide a vital support system for wounded warriors with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and pain and mobility issues which can be so debilitating they lead to suicide.
it's not often we hear of the good deeds a lot of NFL players undertake in their spare time. However every now and again it's important to take a step back and look at their overall contribution. Decker doesn't just work through his charity foundation, he also takes time out of his schedule to raise awareness against bullying at local New Jersey and New York schools.
Congratulations to Eric on becoming the Jets nomination, and here is to hoping he's busy on Super Bowl week, receiving this award and winning us the Super Bowl.