Bears

Bears: Matt Forte nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

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Bears: Matt Forte nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

Matt Forte has been selected as the Bears' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which recognizes a player for excellence both on and off the field.

The winner will be announced during the 5th Annual NFL Honors awards show on Saturday, Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50. A panel of judges including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, SI's Peter King, Connie Payton, Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz, San Diego Chargers legend LaDainian Tomlinson and the 2014 NFL Man of the Year winner and current Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis will select the 2016 recipient.

[SHOP: Buy a Matt Forte jersey]

Each of the 32 nominees will receive a $5000 donation for their charity. The two runner-ups will receive an additional $6,000 donation and the winner will receive a $50,000 donation. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.

From NFL.com, regarding Forte's nomination:

Matt Forte founded The Matt Forte 'What's Your Forte?' Foundation in 2013 to empower at-risk Chicago-area youth striving to achieve their dreams of higher education by providing mentoring, counseling, tutoring and academic scholarships. It is Matt's mission to help youth meet their full potential.

 

This summer, Matt hosted his third annual Matt Forte Football ProCamp. Matt has also hosted various mentoring dinners and camps in prior years, both in Chicago and his hometown, Slidell, La. In preparation for the upcoming school year, the Matt Forte "What's Your Forte?" Foundation hosted its inaugural "Back to School 'Kicks' and Backpack Giveaway." Matt provided more than 200 kids with backpacks, school supplies, tennis shoes and other clothing items. Matt understands that the families of many Chicago-area youth are unable to provide their children with "back-to-school" clothing items. Filling this void helps remove the stigma that children face upon returning to school each year, allowing them to focus on academics and not individual appearances. The foundation additionally has a turkey giveaway planned for Thanksgiving.

The NFL Man of the Year Award was founded in 1970. It was renamed to the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 1999, to honor the late Hall of Fame Bears running back.

Previous members of the Bears to win the award include Walter Payton (1977), Dave Duerson (1987), Mike Singletary (1990), Jim Flanigan (2000) and Charles Tillman (2013).

For a full list of candidates and more information, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.

Trubisky: 'I'd definitely like to catch some touchdowns'

Trubisky: 'I'd definitely like to catch some touchdowns'

The Chicago Bears are counting on Mitch Trubisky to have a breakout season in 2018. His rookie year was strong, but for the Bears to emerge as a playoff contender, the second-year passer must enjoy a Jared Goff-like improvement.

There's no doubting the talent Trubisky possesses in his right arm. And with a plethora of new weapons at his disposal, his production should make him appealing to fantasy football owners. But he may do more than just throw touchdowns.

"I'd definitely like to catch some touchdowns and some passes, that would be cool," Trubisky said at Halas Hall after Wednesday's OTAs. "The sky's the limit with this offense, just the creativeness that these coaches bring, there's going to be a lot of fun plays. We get the base ones down first and hopefully, we can have some fun trick plays."

Trey Burton was signed in free agency to provide a weapon for Trubisky at tight end, but he may end up throwing a few passes before the year is out. He was on the quarterback end of the famous Super Bowl LII touchdown pass (the Philly Special) to Nick Foles and spent time at quarterback as a freshman at the University of Florida.

Don't forget about Tarik Cohen, either. He attempted two passes in 2017, completing one for a touchdown (21 yards) to Zach Miller.

Trubisky is the kind of rare athlete at quarterback who an offensive coordinator can legitimately devise a few trick plays for, adding just another wrinkle in the new-era of Bears offensive football set to launch in September.

Trubisky believes Bears will stand for national anthem

Trubisky believes Bears will stand for national anthem

Mitch Trubisky met with reporters after OTAs on Wednesday and addressed the NFL owners' unanimous approval of a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field while it's performed. If they don't want to stand, they can remain in the locker room or teams will be subject to fines.

The Bears avoided the media firestorm around the national anthem last season. No one on the roster kneeled. Instead, teammates locked arms and Trubisky believes it will be more of the same in 2018.

"I’m just proud of how our team handled last year. It's in the past and I believe we’ll all stand on the field together this year," Trubisky told reporters at Halas Hall. "It is what it is. I think it’s all about eliminating distractions for the team and for the audience. Just represent yourself and the organization in the right manner.”

STANKEVITZ: NFL Anthem policy won’t keep Sam Acho, others from standing up for what they believe in

Trubisky is the unquestioned leader of the Bears, only one year removed from Mike Glennon's proclamation that this was his team. Now, with a new coach and elevated expectations, Trubisky must weather the off-field issues that naturally come with a leadership role.

No off-field issue is bigger than a comment by the President of the United States, which happened Thursday in response to the national anthem policy during in an interview on "Fox and Friends".

“Well, I think that’s good. I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still, I think it’s good," Trump said. "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.” 

This is an issue that isn't going away anytime soon. Fortunately, Trubisky appears ready to shoulder the heavy burden and potential strain a social issue like this can bring to a locker room.