Cameron Heyward embodies what it means to be the Walter Payton Man of the Year

This award couldn't have gone to a more deserving player.

13th Annual NFL Honors, Cameron Heyward, Steelers
13th Annual NFL Honors, Cameron Heyward, Steelers / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

The NFL Honors ceremony is a time to commemorate some of the best players in the league for their accomplishments during the previous season. We recently witnessed Myles Garrett claim the Defensive Player of the Year award, Christian McCaffrey earn the Offensive Player of the Year award, and Lamar Jackson take home the MVP trophy. However, one award in particular is held with the utmost respect for accomplishments off the field.

The Walter Payton Man of the Year award is given to a player each year for their commitment to community impact and excellence off the field. Each team nominates a player while a committee that includes Roger Goodell, Connie Payton, the previous Walter Payton Man of the Year winner, and other former players vote on who will receive the award. Nominees for the award receive up to $55,000 in donation money to use on the charity of their choice, while the winner is awarded $250,000 for their charity.

This year's recipient was none other than Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro and team captain, Cameron Heyward. The 34-year-old was teary-eyed as he received the award at the NFL Honors ceremony and his gratitude to earn such a prestigious honor could be felt from our couches at home.

The money he received will go toward the Heyward House Foundation. This is the charity that was established in 2015 and founded in honor of his late father Craig "Ironhead" Heyward. Heyward's charity focuses on fighting against childhood hunger and the fight against child cancer as well as supporting students and teachers.

Steelers have one of the greats in Cameron Heyward

Cameron Heyward is regularly nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year, but this is the first time that he has achieved the award. It couldn't go to a better person on and off the field.

In addition to everything that Heyward does with his foundation, he embodies what it means to be both a role model and a Pittsburgh Steeler. Heyward, the long-time team captain of the Steelers, is known for his impressive leadership qualities and team-first mentality.

Heyward turns 35 years old this offseason and is entering the final year of his contract. It's very possible that the Pittsburgh Steelers could give him one more contract to take him to the end of his career, and you can bet that Art Rooney II will see that one of his greats retires as a Steeler.

Heyward's NFL resume is thoroughly impressive, but there's a chance that it could still fall short of earning a bust in Canton one day. Whether or not this ultimately proves to be the case, Heyward is already a legend and a Hall of Famer in our book for everything he has done both on and off the field.