The New England Patriots have named TE Rob Gronkowski as the team’s Man of the Year, which puts the All Pro tight end in the running for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, which “recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field and is among the league's most prestigious awards.” The title will be awarded the night before Super Bowl LI on February 4th.
Gronkowski is the regarded as the best tight end in football and was named a team captain for the first time in his career. Off the field, he’s considered the most active player on the Patriots.
“As part of the team's Community Tuesdays, Rob can always be found bringing a smile to somebody's face,” according to Gronkowski’s bio on the Man of the Year website. “He has visited dozens of schools across the region to promote the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and to lead students through a PLAY 60 ultimate gym class. Rob has even helped to provide play spaces to children by building new playgrounds in underserved communities across New England.
“During the holidays, Rob is always eager to spread some cheer to children and families in need. Whether it's helping to deliver more than 200 Thanksgiving meals to families in Boston, throwing a holiday party for 250 children or taking teenagers on a holiday shopping spree, he is always willing and able to put a smile on the faces of people who need it most.
“Over the years, Rob has teamed with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to meet some of his biggest fans who are battling life-threatening illnesses. Each year, he welcomes children and their families to Gillette Stadium to offer his support and to clear their minds from their health complications. His commitment goes even deeper as he teams with One Mission, a local nonprofit organization, to shave his head each spring to raise money for pediatric cancer patients.”
Congratulations to Gronkowski for being under consideration for one of the most prestigious awards in football.
Patriots FS Devin McCourty was nominated in both 2014 and 2015.