BOSTON -- Veteran Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones has been named the team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Jones, 30, earned the Ron Burton Community Service Award earlier this year for his dedication to the New England community, his work with the Patriots Foundation, and his creation of The Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation. The mission of Jones' foundation "is to educate the youth on practical life application, to encourage professional development and to empower the youth through education and mentorship."
"Jonathan has been a tremendous ambassador for the Patriots since he joined the team as a rookie free agent in 2016," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. "Every year, his role and contributions have grown, both on the field and in the community. He started the Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation to positively impact the lives of youth in his New England and Georgia communities through education and mentorship. He became the first male ambassador for 'iPlay Like a Girl' through his advocacy for women and girls in sports, and he continues to empower young women to excel in STEM fields. I am proud to have him represent the New England Patriots as this year's nominee"
The NFL refers to the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award as the league's most prestigious honor, which "acknowledges NFL players who excel on the field and demonstrate a passion for creating a lasting positive impact beyond the game in their communities."
"It's an honor any time that you are recognized for the work that you do, even when it's something like this that you don't do for recognition," Jones said. "It's always an honor to be recognized and to continue to go out there and help more people."
Jones will be heading to Las Vegas during Super Bowl week, where he will be honored along with the other 31 nominees during the NFL Honors ceremony on Feb. 8. All nominees will receive up to a $55,000 donation, while the winner will receiver a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice.
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