'It's bigger than football': Cardinals' Ledbetter named Walter Payton 'Man of the Year' nominee

'It's bigger than football': Cardinals' Ledbetter named Walter Payton 'Man of the Year' nominee
Jonathan Ledbetter was recently named the Arizona Cardinals' Walter Payton NFL 'Man of the Year' nominee (Arizona Cardinals)

PHOENIX, ARIZONA: The Arizona Cardinals recently honored Jonathan Ledbetter with the prestigious Walter Payton 'NFL Man of the Year' award on Tuesday, December 5, acknowledging his exceptional contributions to community service beyond the field of football.

According to AZFamily, Ledbetter, a defensive lineman for the Cardinals, was selected as the recipient of this esteemed award, earning him $55,000 to be donated to a charity of his choice.

Cardinals owner says Jonathan Ledbetter 'consistently served others'

Ledbetter will proudly display a Walter Payton 'NFL Man of the Year' decal on his attire for the remainder of the season.

His designation also places him among the 32 NFL nominees contending for the national 2023 Walter Payton 'NFL Man of the Year' title.

"So many of our players go above and beyond when it comes to contributing to the community," said Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill, "but Jonathan has consistently demonstrated a commitment to serving others that exemplifies everything this award stands for."

Ledbetter, who is having a career year on the field, founded the 'Led a Better Way' Foundation in 2019, which focuses on helping children through youth football camps, holiday drives, hospital visits, and mental health awareness events. The name of the foundation was a play on his own family surname.

Ledbetter's journey to becoming Walter Payton 'Man of the Year' nominee

Ledbetter's passion to serve the community stems from his own childhood experiences, where his mother instilled in him the importance of giving back.

"That village is created through love and through faith and through sacrifice," Ledbetter said. "I'm grateful to have had my mom and my grandmother and all of the other people who have poured into me, and I want to pour into other people as my cup fills over."

The ultimate winner, chosen from the pool of 32 nominees representing each NFL team, will be revealed during a special awards ceremony slated to air on CBS 5 on Thursday, February 8, 2024, just days before Super Bowl LVIII.

The recipient will have the opportunity to allocate $200,000 to a charity of their choosing.

"It's bigger than us," Ledbetter said. "It's bigger than football. It's bigger than everything. People love this game because of what we can do on the field, but we have so much to offer off the field as well. I want people to know that we're regular humans too, and we want to be able to help and give back and be there for people who need the help."

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