NY Jets: A look at Eric Decker being Man of the Year winner


The NY Jets rightfully selected wide receiver Eric Decker for their Walter Payton Man of the Year award since he’s been the example to set this past season both on and off the field.

During the AFC Championship game, the NFL revealed its top three candidates to win the Walter Payton Man of the Year award: Eli Manning (NYG), Anquan Bouldin (SF) and Benjamin Watson (NO).  Each team selects a player from their own roster based on his positive contributions on the field and his charitable work off the field.  Each of the 32 nominees automatically receive a $5,000 gift to a charity of their choice.

The NFL narrowed the field down to the top three contestants.  A committee, comprised of commissioner Roger Goodell, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, Connie Payton, Anthony Muñoz, LaDainian Tomlinson and the 2014 award recipient, Thomas Davis, will debate and ultimately choose the winner based on the same criteria set forth in the nomination process. The two runner-ups will receive an additional $6,000 to his choice of charity.  The NFL Foundation and Nationwide will donate an additional $50,000 to the winner’s choice of charity.

Wide receiver Eric Decker is the 2015 winner for the Jets and rightfully so.

(15) after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On the field this past season, his second with Gang Green, Decker’s contributions were undeniable.  He and Brandon Marshall, arguably the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL, shattered Hall of Famer Cris Carter and Randy Moss‘ record, each scoring touchdowns in eight games.

Finishing with 12 touchdowns (4th in Jets single-season history) and 80 receptions (12th in Jets single-season history) for 1,027 yards (22nd in Jets single-season history) Decker was, clearly, an integral piece to the Jets’ success this season.

Off the gridiron, Decker has established himself as a philanthropist.  He’s done so much for the community including but not limited to the following:

1). He and his wife, country singer Jessie James Decker, established the Eric and Jessie Decker Foundation (EJDF).  Because her father is a war veteran, the mission statement of their organization is: “The Eric & Jessie Decker Foundation, through its fundraising efforts and community outreach, strives to positively impact the lives of United States military service members and veterans as well as animals.”  You can find out more information and donate by clicking here.

2). Decker’s Dogs:  “Founded by Eric and Jessica Decker, Deckers Dogs helps fund the rescue, care and training of a service dog for our military veterans returning home with disabilities.” Most recently, Eric and Jessie hosted a fundraising event, Bowling For Barks, at a bowling alley in New York to raise awareness and funds for their organization.

Eric Decker and I at WFAN’s True Blue event at Yankee Stadium. Photo courtesy of @CoachMcCartan.

3). Eric and Jessie also frequent many fundraising events that they do not directly organize.  For example, I attended WFAN Radio’s True Blue at Yankee Stadium, where Jessie sang one of the best national anthem’s I’ve ever heard and Eric played a solid right field.

4). The Jets also champion a program called STOMP Out Bullying.  Decker, in a radio spot, advertises 1,000 toolkits to teachers in the tri-state area.  (As a high school teacher, I signed up for and received one). Inside the box is a plethora of resources for educators to utilize to eradicate bullying in their schools.  Eric and Jessie, each semester, choose four schools to attend to personally convey their message on bullying and share their personal stories on the topic.

More jets: Jets should not trade for Drew Brees

The winner of the Walter Peyton Man of The Year contest will be announced at the NFL Honors awards show airing on CBS on February 6 (the night before the Super Bowl) at 9pm.