Two former Packers, Jimmy Graham of the Chicago Bears and Corey Linsley of the Los Angeles Chargers, also are nominees. Linsley, who was with the Packers at the time, and Graham were nominated in 2020 as well.
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award was established in 1970 and was renamed in 1999 after late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community.
Two Packers have won the Man of the Year Award. Bart Starr received the initial award in 1969, and Jim Flanagan was a co-winner in 2000.
Jones, one of the NFL's best running backs, was recognized for his work with veterans and children in Green Bay and his hometown of El Paso, Texas.
"He exemplifies what it means to be devoted to both his team and his community. He is a great player and an even better person," said Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy.
Each nominee also takes part in the Charity Challenge, a social media campaign in which fans can vote on Twitter by using the #WPMOYChallenge hashtag followed by the nominees Twitter handle or last name. Jones' Twitter handle is @Showtyme_33. The player who gets the most mentions between today and Jan. 17 will receive a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice. Second- and third-place finishers will get $10,000 and $5,000 donations, respectively.
Jones, who was raised in a military family, was nominated for the the NFL Salute to Service Award in 2018. He's participated in the Packers' Salute to Service and Huddle for Heroes efforts. Jones sent videos to veterans, spoke to youths at military academies and visited military bases and service members in hospitals.
With his twin brother, Alvin, Jones launched the A&A All the Way Foundation to focus on helping children. The foundation provides events that inspire, educate and promote unity and diversity. Through the foundation, Jones participated in turkey giveaways for families in need in Green Bay and El Paso, led football camps for kids and gave bikes to students.
Jones also launched a Yards for Shoes campaign, in which he provides shoes to children at Boys & Girls Clubs in Wisconsin based on his rushing yards for the year.
The foundation also includes the Freedom Is Campaign, which raises money to provide military families with joy-filled experiences for children who have parents serving in the military. Events include such things as zoo trips or family movie nights.
"Me and my brothers started A&A All the Way Foundation to make an impact in youths' lives, just being a resource in my community so they don't lack anything they need," Jones said in a video associated with the nomination.
"If I could be that resource and make sure they get to college, or get a scholarship, or anything like that, then I've done my job and I'm successful and I made an impact in my community."
Jones also supports and visits children battling illness, including cancer. He has highlighted them through the My Cause My Cleats campaign.
Beyond their potential to win money in the Charity Challenge, the winner of the Man of the Year award receives a $250,000 donation to his charity of choice. All other 31 nominees receive up to $40,000 donated to their charities of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide Insurance.
The 32 nominees will be recognized for their work during the week leading to Super Bowl LVI in February. The NFL Man of the Year will be announced during a prime time special on ABC-TV to be aired on the Thursday before the Super Bowl.
Update: Two days later, on Dec. 9, Jones also was nominated for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Packers' Aaron Jones nominated for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year