Sam Acho Nominated for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

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Sam Acho Nominated for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

Chicago Bears

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is a pretty big deal, for obvious reasons, so it would be neat if a current Chicago Bears player wins it.

Sam Acho is the Bears’ nominee for the prestigious award for the second straight season. The honor goes to recognize a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his on-the-field excellence.

“The Walter Payton Man of the Year award means everything to me, especially to win it for the second year in a row,” Acho said via the team’s official website. “This is my seventh year in the NFL and in seven years you go through a lot of ups and downs, wins and losses. I’ve been in the playoffs, I’ve had a lot of good and bad happen. But this is definitely a highlight for me.”

Acho and the Bears are suffering through a 3-9 season, but winning the award re-named in 1999 in honor of the legendary Bears running back would mean a lot to Acho.

Off the field, Acho lends a helping hand to Living Hope Christian Ministries, which was founded by his parents Dr. Sonny Acho and Christy Acho in 1989. During the summer, Acho returned to Nigeria after OTAs concluded to lend a helping hand during a two-week medical mission.

It wasn’t a first-time trip for Acho, who has been taking the annual trip since he was 12.

Acho is one of 32 nominees for the award. He is joined by the likes of Michael Bennett (Seattle Seahawks), J.J. Watt (Houston Texans), Clay Matthews (Green Bay Packers), and former Bears tight end Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers).

Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning shared the award in 2016. Five Bears players have won the Man of the Year award, with the most recent being cornerback Charles Tillman in 2013. If Acho can win it this year, he’ll join Tillman, Jim Flanigan (2000), Mike Singletary (1990), Dave Duerson (1987), and Sweetness himself (1977) in earning that honor.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.