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Randall Telfer named Cleveland Browns 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year

Posted Dec 8, 2017

Third-year TE has made big impact off the field

TE Randall Telfer has been named the Cleveland Browns 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year. Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, Telfer is also eligible to win the national award and one of the league’s most prestigious honors, which recognizes players’ for outstanding community service activities off the field and excellence on the field.

Dee and Jimmy Haslam will present the award to Telfer prior to Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers to congratulate and thank him for his commitment to the Browns, the City of Cleveland and positively impacting lives of others. 

New in 2017, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette will appear in uniform elements to further recognize past award winners and current nominees starting in Week 14. Telfer will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field. 

Since being selected by the Browns in the sixth round in 2015, Telfer has played in 26 career games with 16 starts, including 11 starts this season while playing in all 12 games. The second-year player has logged two receptions for 24 yards this season and been a major contributor to Cleveland’s running game, which ranks fourth in the NFL since Week 8 with 4.95 yards per carry.n California graduate, Telfer has remained incredibly dedicated and resilient since the start of his NFL career. Telfer battled through several injuries during his college career prior to entering the NFL, including a foot injury that impacted his rookie season. 

Telfer, inspired by his grandmother, understands and believes his responsibility in the NFL extends beyond football through a unique platform that can help create positive change in the community. He has consistently been engaged in the Cleveland community since joining the team. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, Telfer has spent time on nearly each of his Tuesday off-days to give back to others in the region through the Browns’ #give10 campaign and his #GiveBackTuesday efforts.

On his own accord, Telfer frequently visits local police, fire stations and other locations to champion first responders who protect our communities while also connecting with the men and women in uniform. He has also been actively involved in many player-driven initiatives to connect with members of the Cleveland Police Department and first responders, including recent ridealongs and the first Neighborhood Equality and Unity Summit with CMSD high school students, hosted at Cleveland State University on Oct. 24.

This past fall, Telfer also hosted a back-to-school event for kids from Brook Park Recreation Center and provided new backpacks to students for the year, in addition to his consistent participation in community visits aligned with Browns Give Back and the First and Ten volunteering movement. Additionally, Telfer also makes independent surprise visits to various locations including homeless shelters, schools and more. 

When in his hometown of Los Angeles, Calif., Telfer regularly spends time with children receiving treatment at LA Children’s Hospital. In 2016, he joined the ‘Team Tackle’ initiative for the American Diabetes Association, which unites 45 current and former NFL players to raise awareness for diabetes.

Last week, Telfer also participated in the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats campaign to support Boo2Bullying, which seeks to eradicate bullying, intolerance and discrimination by educating schools and parents about accepting diversity and giving young people the tools to connect with and positively impact those around them.

Three of the 32 NFL teams’ nominees will be selected as finalists for the national Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, renamed in 1999 after the late Pro Football Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. Finalists will be announced in January 2018. The winner will be announced in Minneapolis at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, from 8-10 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.

In 2017, $500,000 will be donated in the name of the Walter Payton Man of the Year – $250,000 to the winner’s charity of choice and $250,000 to expand Character Playbook across the country. The two other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity of choice and a $100,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All other 29 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their name to expand Character Playbook. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and United Way Worldwide. 

Each Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee will also receive two Super Bowl LII tickets to donate to a community leader.

The Man of the Year award has been given annually since 1970.

Cleveland Browns Walter Payton Man of the Year award:

1999 OG Jim Pyne

2000 LB Jamir Miller

2001 LB Wali Rainer

2002 RB Jamel White

2003 QB Kelly Holcomb

2004 DE Kenard Lang

2005 QB Trent Dilfer

2006 QB Charlie Frye

2007 WR Braylon Edwards

2008 K Phil Dawson

2009 WR Mike Furrey*

2010 OL Joe Thomas

2011 WR Joshua Cribbs

2012 OL Joe Thomas*

2013 LB Jabaal Sheard

2014 LB Craig Robertson

2015 TE Gary Barnidge

2016 OL Joe Thomas

2017 TE Randall Telfer

*Denotes NFL finalist

About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:

The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team’s signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback

Education – A core focus of Browns Give Back is education, and the Cleveland Browns Foundation supports this mission through financial grants and other resources to local, education non-profits to ensure youth in Northeast Ohio receive the education and development they need as a foundation for independence and success. The Cleveland Browns Foundation has identified three areas of impact – school attendance, early learning and college and career readiness – with the goal of identifying opportunities, removing barriers and providing support for students to empower them for long-term success.

Youth Football – The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns’ goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.

First and Ten – Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team’s community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual’s city across the globe, as well as the franchise’s local community. To date, more than 1.5 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team’s website and by sharing their stories with #give10.

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