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Virgil Green named Broncos' 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

Posted Dec 7, 2016

The Broncos tight end follows in the footsteps of numerous players with resounding impacts on their communities.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos have selected tight end Virgil Green as the team’s 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award recipient, it was announced on Wednesday. The prestigious award, presented by Nationwide, recognizes a player from each NFL team for their outstanding leadership both on the field and in the community.

Green has proven to be one of the most consistent leaders for the Broncos’ Be A Champion in the Community platform throughout his six years with the team.

Since being selected by the Broncos in the seventh round (204th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft, Green has worked with the Mile High United Way in various capacities, including volunteering as a partner for the Power Lunch program to improve early childhood literacy and help kids develop a love for reading. In 2016, Green adopted a Columbian elementary school classroom and visited every Tuesday to read with the students.

Green also has been integral to the team’s PLAY 60 work and has not missed a Hometown Huddle event since becoming a Bronco. Most recently, Green kicked off the Broncos’ Hometown Huddle event and continued his demonstrated leadership for NFL PLAY 60 by speaking to the more than 300 kids in attendance about the importance of eating healthy and staying active.

This past summer, Green was named the Western Dairy Fuel Up to PLAY 60 player representative, a role in which he encourages students and schools to become healthier through nutrition and physical activity.

Green was named a Broncos Community Ambassador in 2015 after being chosen as a Denver Broncos Community Champion Award winner in 2014.

The NFL’s national Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winner will receive $500,000 in his name to fund Character Playbook (the NFL and United Way’s premier digital education program that trains students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years) in multiple markets and $500,000 for the charity of his choice—$1,000,000 in total funded by the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.

Two runner-ups will receive $125,000 to fund Character Playbook in multiple markets and $125,000 for a charity of his choice. Each team-level winner receives $50,000 in his name to fund Character Playbook in his team’s market plus $50,000 for the charity of his choice—a total of $100,000.

Previous Broncos nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award include safety David Bruton Jr. (2015), guard Ben Garland (2014), linebacker Wesley Woodyard (2010-11, ‘13), guard Zane Beadles (2012), cornerback Champ Bailey (2008-09), cornerback Domonique Foxworth (2007), wide receiver Rod Smith (2004, ’06), safety John Lynch (2005), linebacker Ian Gold (2003) and wide receiver Ed McCaffrey (2002).

Quarterback John Elway (1992) is the only Broncos player to win the national award, which was first given in 1970 and renamed after the Chicago Bears’ Pro Football Hall of Fame running back in 1999.

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