Giants’ Saquon Barkley Named Finalist for Walter Payton Man of the Year

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Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

Saquon Barkley has been a model of excellence for the New York Giants in 2023, but his work off the field is getting recognized as well.

Giants: Barkley’s Passion for Community Service Has Shown Through His Efforts

Barkley has been named a finalist for the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his humanitarian efforts. Giants.com shared this quote from Barkley regarding his work in the community:

“I understand that God has blessed me with an unbelievable talent and unbelievable opportunity to play in the National Football League and to be a person that a lot of kids look up to,” Barkley said. “I want to make sure that with the time of me being in the NFL and on this earth, I try to make a change, try to make an impact on someone’s life and fulfill my purpose.”

Barkley has been active in trying to make a difference for the less fortunate in and around New York. Earlier this season, he used his non-profit organization, The Michael Ann and Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation, to give out turkeys to families in need during Thanksgiving:

He’s also worked with Covenant House New Jersey to offer aid to the homeless. Barkley’s openness in expressing his drive to give back has not only garnered him much respect but has also been of service to the Giants fanbase, which has made him a two-time Pro Bowler.

Barkley Will Have to Beat Out a Large Pool of Worthy Candidates

Barkley is joined by 31 other nominees for the award. Among the contenders include Demarcus Lawrence (Dallas Cowboys), Patrick Mahomes II (Kansas City Chiefs), and Jeffrey Simmons (Tennessee Titans).

The award is named in commemoration of Payton, who played for the Chicago Bears from 1975-1987. Payton won Super Bowl XX and owned the 1977 NFL season, winning league MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and Man of the Year.

His name would end up being attached to the latter for his fight with the rare liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis that took his life in 1999, as well as championing organ donations. Barkley will look to put his name in rarified air next to Payton, with the winner set to be announced on Feb. 8.