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Patriots defensive tackle Lawrence Guy calls Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination ‘a blessing’

Related: Lawrence Guy is the Patriots’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

New York Jets v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

One of the best free agency additions in recent team history, Lawrence Guy has become a cornerstone of the New England Patriots’ organization since his arrival in 2017. Not only has he appeared in 82 games and counting — winning one Super Bowl along the way — he also has had an impact off the field as well.

Not only is Guy a regular participant in community events organized by the team, he and his wife, Andrea, also established their own foundation in 2019. The Lawrence Guy Foundation is operating with the goal of “inspir[ing] and help[ing] disadvantaged families to achieve their full potential.”

The foundation is hosting annual philanthropic programs — from hosting “back to school” events every August to support local kids in need, to providing Thanksgiving meals to dozens of families. Earlier this year, Guy was also named he NFLPA’s Community MVP for hosting a baby shower that provided more than $40,000 in products and gifts for 20 local moms in need.

Seeing him earn the Patriots’ nomination for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award was therefore no surprise. Still, the 31-year-old knows that the honor is more than just recognition — it also comes with responsibility.

“When you do certain things in the community, we understand this game is bigger than what we do on the field,” he said. “You just do it because you look in your heart and see what can you do to help out another person. Being nominated is just a blessing because what [Walter Payton] stood for on and off the field holds so much weight and holds a big legacy as you keep continuing to see.

“It just proves that no matter how big or small you do things, it’s always being noticed.”

Guy’s contributions besides the gridiron are also recognized by his teammates. Team captain Matthew Slater, himself a winner of the prestigious Bart Starr Award, made sure to praise the defensive tackle as well as his family during a press conference on Wednesday.

“Him and his family are just such generous people, and they give so much of themselves,” Slater said. “They really understand the importance of giving back, and the platform that they have, the power that they have to reach people and impact people in a positive way. And that goes for Mrs. Guy as well. They’re just a tremendous couple and their family does things the right way.

“I can’t think of a better person not just on our team but in this league to be nominated for that award. He deserves it.”

Named after the late Chicago Bears running back, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is handed out annually during the NFL Honors ceremony ahead of the Super Bowl. Each team nominates one player, with the winner receiving a $250,000 donation by the league to a charity of his choice.