The Seahawks already have one Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner on their roster and are looking to add another. On Tuesday, the NFL announced the 32 nominees—one for each team—for this year's award, which honors a player's excellence both on and off the field.
Seattle's representative will be receiver Tyler Lockett, who looks to follow in the footsteps of his teammate and 2020 award recipient Russell Wilson. Lockett is not only well on his way to a third consecutive 1,000-yard season, but he's also made a significant impact in the communities of Washington, Kansas and Oklahoma.
In addition to his ongoing activism and advocacy for the Black community, Lockett has gone to great lengths to support young individuals in their football lives.
As the NFL's press release notes, his College Scholarship Program helped deliver $34,000 in scholarships to seven students for the 2021-22 academic year. He also gave back to the institutions he grew up in, donating $10,000 to his alma mater, Kansas State, so it could implement the Catapult data tracking technology to help further the development of its players; and $21,000 worth of Adidas uniforms to a trio of organizations in his home state of Oklahoma.
This year, Lockett's Light It Up Foundation donated north of $32,000 worth of clothing, shoes and food to the Tulsa Day Center For the Homeless in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. There, he also donated $6,000 to the city's Domestic Violence Intervention Services, which provides support to those in the area who are affected by domestic violence.
During the summer, Lockett partnered with his uncle Aaron and Fulton Street Books & Coffee—the only Black-owned bookstore in Tulsa—to create a set of bookmarks called the Black History Collection. One side features one of several action shots of Lockett, while the other highlights a fact about Black history in Oklahoma. These bookmarks can still be purchased on the store's website, with half of the proceeds going to Fulton Street and the other to Oklahoma-based, Black-owned businesses.
As for what he's done on the gridiron, Lockett has been productive as ever in 2021. Despite playing without Wilson for three games, the 29-year old pass catcher has reeled in 57 of 84 targets for 881 yards and four touchdowns with five games left on the schedule. While his career-highs in receptions (100) and touchdowns (10) are a ways off, he's well on pace to shatter his personal best in yardage (1,057).
Two other former Seahawks are also nominated for the award: Falcons running back Mike Davis and Bears tight end Jimmy Graham.
For a deeper look into Lockett's contributions in 2021, check out the NFL's full profile on the Seahawks receiver.