Saquon Barkley is always quick to add Walter Payton to any discussion of all-time great NFL running backs.
Now the two names are in the same sentence for another reason, as Barkley was named the Giants’ 2022 nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which recognizes the combination of outstanding community service and on-field performance.
Barkley received the Hometown Hero Award for his charitable contributions to the United Way of New York City, helping the non-profit raise $2.4 million for children and families, according to the Giants. His support of Covenant House New Jersey, which helps young people who face homelessness and human trafficking, includes serving as celebrity chairman of the “Sleep Out: Executive Edition” overnight fundraiser, which has raised nearly $5.5 million during his four-year involvement.
All 32 NFL teams nominate one player each year for the award. Former winners, including Eli Manning in 2016, wear a commemorative patch on their jersey for the rest of their careers.
“That’s my goal by the end of my career, to play a season or seasons with that logo,” Barkley told Giants.com. “I was kind of jealous when I saw Eli have that logo.”
Coming off of two injury-plagued seasons, Barkley leads the Giants with 1,055 rushing yards, 40 receptions and eight touchdowns.