Russell Wilson's jersey patch, explained: Why Broncos QB wears Walter Payton Man of the Year logo

Russell Wilson has enjoyed a lengthy career as a starting quarterback. He’s spent 12 years leading offenses, the past two for the Broncos and the first 10 for the Seahawks.

Fans watching Wilson play have grown accustomed to a C on the top right shoulder of his jersey. Starting in 2013, his second year in the NFL, he has been a captain of his teams.

But in recent years, Wilson has had another patch on his jersey, one on his left shoulder. It is unlike most other patches in the NFL, as only a select few other players have worn the patch.

Wilson has had the jersey now for three seasons, his final year with Seattle and both campaigns now with Denver. What is the patch? Here’s what you need to know.

Russell Wilson jersey patch, explained

Back in 2017, it became a rule in the NFL that winners of the Walter Payton Man of the Year would be able to wear a patch representing the distinction on the jersey for the remainder of their careers. The patch resembles the trophy earned when a player wins the award, and is put on the top left corner of the jersey.

Back in 2020, Wilson became the first quarterback since Eli Manning in 2016 to win the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Two years later, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott won the award to join him as the latest QB to earn the honor.

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The patch on the jersey is not the only recognition as part of the award. Each team picks a nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year, and when those players are nominated, they are able to wear helmet decals for the rest of the year to recognize their honor.

Walter Payton Man of the Year winners by year

Wilson is one of three active players to have won the award, and thus can wear the patch. Wilson, Prescott and Falcons defensive end Calais Cambell, who won in 2019, are the other active winners.

Three times in the past, there have been multiple winners. In 2000, Derrick Brooks and Jim Flanigan won; in 2006, Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson earned the honors; in 2016, Larry Fitzgerald and Manning won.

Year Player Position Team 1970 Johnny Unitas Quarterback Baltimore Colts 1971 John Hadl Quarterback San Diego Chargers 1972 Willie Lanier Linebacker Kansas City Chiefs 1973 Len Dawson Quarterback Kansas City Chiefs 1974 George Blanda Quarterback Oakland Raiders 1975 Ken Anderson Quarterback Cincinnati Bengals 1976 Franco Harris Running back Pittsburgh Steelers 1977 Walter Payton Running back Chicago Bears 1978 Roger Staubach Quarterback Dallas Cowboys 1979 Joe Greene Defensive tackle Pittsburgh Steelers 1980 Harold Carmichael Wide receiver Philadelphia Eagles 1981 Lynn Swann Wide receiver Pittsburgh Steelers 1982 Joe Theismann Quarterback Washington Redskins 1983 Rolf Benirschke Kicker San Diego Chargers 1984 Marty Lyons Defensive tackle New York Jets 1985 Dwight Stephenson Center Miami Dolphins 1986 Reggie Williams Linebacker Cincinnati Bengals 1987 Dave Duerson Safety Chicago Bears 1988 Steve Largent Wide receiver Seattle Seahawks 1989 Warren Moon Quarterback Houston Oilers 1990 Mike Singletary Linebacker Chicago Bears 1991 Anthony Muñoz Offensive tackle Cincinnati Bengals 1992 John Elway Quarterback Denver Broncos 1993 Derrick Thomas Linebacker Kansas City Chiefs 1994 Junior Seau Linebacker San Diego Chargers 1995 Boomer Esiason Quarterback New York Jets 1996 Darrell Green Cornerback Washington Redskins 1997 Troy Aikman Quarterback Dallas Cowboys 1998 Dan Marino Quarterback Miami Dolphins 1999 Cris Carter Wide receiver Minnesota Vikings 2000 Derrick Brooks Linebacker Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jim Flanigan Defensive tackle Chicago Bears 2001 Jerome Bettis Running back Pittsburgh Steelers 2002 Troy Vincent Cornerback Philadelphia Eagles 2003 Will Shields Offensive guard Kansas City Chiefs 2004 Warrick Dunn Running back Atlanta Falcons 2005 Peyton Manning Quarterback Indianapolis Colts 2006 Drew Brees Quarterback New Orleans Saints LaDainian Tomlinson Running back San Diego Chargers 2007 Jason Taylor Defensive end Miami Dolphins 2008 Kurt Warner Quarterback Arizona Cardinals 2009 Brian Waters Offensive guard Kansas City Chiefs 2010 Madieu Williams Safety Minnesota Vikings 2011 Matt Birk Center Baltimore Ravens 2012 Jason Witten Tight end Dallas Cowboys 2013 Charles Tillman Cornerback Chicago Bears 2014 Thomas Davis Sr. Linebacker Carolina Panthers 2015 Anquan Boldin Wide receiver San Francisco 49ers 2016 Larry Fitzgerald Wide receiver Arizona Cardinals Eli Manning Quarterback New York Giants 2017 J. J. Watt Defensive end Houston Texans 2018 Chris Long Defensive end Philadelphia Eagles 2019 Calais Campbell Defensive end Jacksonville Jaguars 2020 Russell Wilson Quarterback Seattle Seahawks 2021 Andrew Whitworth Offensive tackle Los Angeles Rams 2022 Dak Prescott Quarterback Dallas Cowboys

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