JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell was named the 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year during the NFL Honors award show Saturday in Miami.
The five-time Pro Bowl pass rusher was lauded for his work with his CRC Foundation, named for his late father. In three years in Jacksonville, Campbell has not only been a Pro Bowl pick each season, but he has made a substantial difference in the community, holding holiday shopping sprees for local children, hosting football camps and making frequent trips to Northwestern Middle School as part of his CRC Book Club. Campbell also has made appearances at schools working with Kids Hope Alliance to offer encouragement and discuss social justice.
In 2019, he established Calais Campbell’s Season of Giving. His final contributions during the season included a total of $80,000 to four organizations (Feeding Northeast Florida, the Clara White Mission, the Wounded Warrior Project and the United Way of Northeast Florida). Additionally, when the Jaguars faced the Broncos in Campbell’s hometown of Denver, he donated $5,000 each to four charities bringing his entire Season of Giving to $100,000.
The community activism is nothing new for Campbell, who was twice nominated for the Man of the Year award during his career with the Arizona Cardinals. Last season, he won the Bart Starr Award for exemplifying outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community.
“Calais means so much more to the NFL than being a great player on the field each and every Sunday,” Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone said in December when Campbell was named Jacksonville’s nominee. “He embodies all the traits that make someone a consummate professional, and his passion and love for the game and everything it represents is why he’s a perfect candidate for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. As a tenured veteran, Calais has made an impact everywhere he’s been during his football career, both inside the organizations he’s played for with his teammates, coaches and the staff, as well as in the community with his neighbors. With every second of free time, it seems like he’s always out in the city looking for a way to give back and make a difference. I’m honored to have had the privilege to coach a player and a man like Calais Campbell.”