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Jeffery Simmons Named Titans' Nominee For Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

Man of the Year - Jeffery Simmons

NASHVILLE – Jeffery Simmons continues to make a name for himself on and off the football field.

On Tuesday, Simmons was announced as the team's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.

"It feels great, especially with me, knowing where I came from," Simmons said of the honor. "To be in a position to be able to give back, it means a lot. I want to be a light in the community. I know this is going to mean a lot to my family, because they know this is where my heart is, giving back to the kids, or whoever it might be.

"And it means a whole lot to me as well."

As a nominee, Simmons will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.

All 32 nominees will be recognized for their achievements during the week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII. The 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally on CBS on Thursday, Feb. 8.

"I am proud of the work our players do in the community and appreciate the opportunity to highlight that dedication through these initiatives," Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said. "Jeffery has shown tremendous commitment to making a difference for those in need and empowering and inspiring young people. His leadership on and off the field is phenomenal."

Last month, Simmons was named the Week 12 NFLPA Community MVP after he gifted more than 500 Nashville families with turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday as part of his Give 'Em A Reason Foundation. Cars lined up outside Nissan Stadium were greeted by the Titans defensive lineman, who personally handed out the Thanksgiving staple to the attendees. Following the two-hour drive-thru distribution, Simmons teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank, FrankTown Open Hearts and other local non-profits to distribute the remaining turkeys to community members who weren't able to attend.

Since launching the Give Em A Reason Foundation in 2022, the fifth-year veteran has consistently hosted a number of giveback initiatives as part of his non-profit's mission to serve others through youth empowerment and self-esteem-building opportunities.

In September, Simmons joined volunteers at Nashville General Hospital Foundation's Outreach Program to pack and distribute healthy food at no cost to the city's disadvantaged, elderly and sick. The following week, he invited kids from Martha O'Bryan Center's extended learning program out to a local escape room for a space-themed day of fun. Through his involvement, Simmons helped extend the program's mission to provide students in grades K-8 with positive male support related to academics, self-esteem and worth.

This past summer, the former Mississippi State standout returned to his roots and hosted a full week of outreach events. On July 1, Simmons held a Community Fun Day in his hometown of Macon, Mississippi featuring flag football games, food trucks, bounce houses, face painting and fireworks. Afterward, the town's mayor presented him with the first-ever key to the city to honor his commitment to his community.

On July 6, Simmons surprised 10 youth athletes in Starkville with $300 gift cards to go on a shopping spree to purchase new football gear, clothes, shoes and more. The next day, Simmons began a two-day football camp that saw several players from across the NFL come out to teach the kids fundamental skills, teamwork and discipline. The camp took place on the new field that Simmons donated to Starkville Sportsplex a year earlier (along with a new fieldhouse to Noxubee County High School).

Simmons also provides support in food insecurity working closely with Nashville's Food Pharmacy, which delivers fresh produce and shelf-stable foods to those in need. He recently made a $10,000 donation and helped deliver meals. In less than a year, "Give 'Em A Reason" Foundation has supported nearly 10 different organizations and has plans for continued growth for years to come.

"When I got in the league, even when I wasn't in the league, my goal was to always give back," said Simmons, a two-time Pro Bowler. "Even in college, the people at Mississippi State will tell you I'd go to Walmart and ring the bell, or whatever it might be. It's something I always looked forward to doing, and something I always believed in, especially on this level.

"To be in a position where a lot of kids, and even some adults, look up to us, it means a lot to be in a position where I can make a positive impact on people."

Each nominee will receive up to a $55,000 donation, and the award winner will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are made possible by the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.

This year, fans are once again encouraged to participate in Nationwide's annual Charity Challenge, a social media and online contest that allows fans to show support for their favorite Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee. Fans can vote on X (formerly Twitter) by posting #WPMOYChallenge along with the last name/X handle of their chosen nominee or by voting directly on

The nominee who receives the most collective hashtag mentions and votes will win an additional $35,000 donation from Nationwide to the charity of their choice, with the runner-up receiving $10,000 and the third-place winner receiving $5,000. Charity Challenge voting takes place from Dec. 5 to Jan. 8.

The award was established in 1970. It was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton.

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