Burton Nominated For Walter Payton Man Of The Year

"That's one of the reasons why I chose to come here," Burton said of his work.

Chris Emma
December 06, 2018 - 2:09 pm
Bears tight end Trey Burton (80) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Buccaneers.

Quinn Harris/USA Today Sports

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- There are a number of factors that could draw a free agent to a team or city, with key priorities to consider. 

For Bears tight end Trey Burton, who signed with the team this past March, part of the draw to Chicago was the chance to make a difference off the field. The 27-year-old Burton has been involved with the International Justice Mission, which is global organization that aims to eliminate slave trade. He's also part of the Bears' social justice committee.

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Burton's dedication has earned him a tremendous honor from teammates, as he was nominated as the Bears' candidate for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, considered the NFL's most prestigious recognition honoring the player who represents best a commitment to philanthropy and community impact.

"That's one of the reasons why I chose to come here," Burton said. "I knew that there were things we could do in the city and the community.

"I feel like I'm called to do that. All of us have an influence, have an opportunity, have a platform. I feel like if we're just playing football, we're wasting our time."

Burton learned of the news Wednesday at Halas Hall as he was surprised by Jarrett Payton, the son of Walter Payton.

Burton is one of 32 finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year recognition, which will be awarded during the Super Bowl in February. The Bears have had five players honored -- Payton (1977), Dave Duerson (1987), Mike Singletary (1990), Jim Flanigan (2000) and Charles Tillman (2013).

For Burton, the chance to be considered for this award is meaningful.

"It's special," Burton said. "Not everybody is able to have that impact. You hear about the one or two or three bad apples, but the majority of the guys in this league are great. There are unbelievable things what guys are doing."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​​