Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is not just one of the greatest players in franchise history, he is one of the greats off the field.
For the second time in his career, Wagner has been nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. Every team submits their nomination to the league, with a winner determined by the league’s panel of judges, which includes commissioner Roger Goodell.
Here’s what Bobby had to say (via Seahawks.com) about his latest nomination:
“It’s a really cool honor to be nominated for something like this, because it doesn’t just highlight the stuff on the field, it highlights the stuff off the field, trying to affect people’s lives in a positive way,” said Wagner, who is also the Seahawks’ nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. “It’s cool.”
Wagner has been a tremendous part of the Seattle community since he was drafted by the Seahawks in 2012. Even when he was with the Los Angeles Rams in 2022, he partnered with Tyler Lockett to pay off school lunch debt in the Renton School District. This year, Wagner launched the FAST54 campaign, which raises awareness for stroke prevention and education. The foundation is in honor of his mother, who succumbed to a stroke. You can donate to the Phenia Mae Fund by clicking here.
Here are some of Wagner’s other community initiatives, both within and beyond the Seattle-area:
—In a collaborative effort with Microsoft, Wagner participated in the Seahawks’ first-ever HBCU tour earlier this year in partnership with Seattle Public School’s WHOLE Mentoring Program, and The BE Project. Wagner joined the students on their tour of Howard University in Washington, D.C. When the Seahawks recapped the students’ trip with a 15-minute documentary, Wagner then surprised the group with new Jordans when they visited the team training facility for a documentary viewing.
—Wagner has been a supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County for more than eight years. In the summer of 2023, he supported their annual Field Day event, which included hosting more than 800 youth at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium.
—In early 2023, Wagner made a generous donation to the Time for Change Foundation, which helps women recreate their life as they move into apartments of their own after they’ve been incarcerated, in rehabilitation centers or in domestic violence shelters. His donation helped support funding for appliances such as refrigerators, as well as other necessities such as mattresses or towels, to outfit the new apartments.
—In support of youth education, Wagner created a Tackle Everything Tech Tour. The tour took students along to visits at companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Snap, Boeing, Bessemer Ventures, Marcy Ventures, and many others, in an effort to show them a wide variety of career opportunities they could pursue in the future.
—Behind the scenes and often without fanfare or recognition, Wagner frequently offers community support privately through providing grocery gift cards or holiday meals for those in need. For the past several years, he has also privately paid off student lunch account debts at local schools.
Previous Seahawks who have won this award are Russell Wilson (2020) and Steve Largent (1988).
The award winner will be announced at the NFL Honors on February 8 in Las Vegas. A $250,000 donation will be made to the winner’s chosen charity. The other 31 nominees will also receive donations of up to $55,000.
Let’s go, Bobby!