Top 3 Playe​rs we should be most Thankful for

3. Aaron Rodgers 

The Hail Mary King himself is, like the others on this list, not only a great NFL player, and most likely a future Hall of Famer, but an extremely philanthropic one as well. In 2010 he led the Packers to Super Bowl XLV where they triumphed over the Pittsburg Steelers and Aaron Rodgers was the Super Bowl MVP. On top of his MVP award Rodgers has won the NFL MVP twice, is a 6-time Pro Bowler, and won the AP Athlete of the Year in 2011, just to name to a few. Rodgers has many more awards I have not listed, and if you would like the full list his Wikipedia page is linked below. Rodgers philanthropic work has not gone unnoticed, the Medical College of Wisconsin awarded Rodgers with an honorary doctorate of the humanities earlier this year. The doctorate was awarded to Rodgers because of his work with the college and with the MACC (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) Fund for his effort helping children with cancer. Rodgers has helped to raise nearly $3 million in research moray and makes continuous appearances on the MACC Fund’s behalf. Brady also cohosted a charity golf tournament from 2006-2008 with Young Life. He also plays annually in the Andy North and Friends Golf Getaway, a tournament that raises money for University of Wisconsin’s Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center. Additionally, Rodgers regularly plays in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe, CA, plays in the Vince Lombardi, Golf Classic, and the Edgar Bennett Celebrity Bowl-a-Thon. During the NFL’s off-season Rodgers helps teammates Greg Jennings and Donald Driver with their charity events and efforts. Finally, Rodgers partnered with the Pro Player Foundation in 2010 to host Twelve’s Day of Christmas. The event serves children from the Ecumenical Partnership for Housing and the Salvation Army. During the event the children get to go on a holiday shopping spree at Shopko, have a pizza party, and get to meet with their favorite Packer Players! Rodgers stats speak for themselves and his outstanding philanthropic efforts combine with them to earn Rodgers a spot on this list.

2. Tom Brady

Tom Brady has led the Patriots to 5 rings, tied for the most rings by any individual player in history! Brady was also awarded the Super Bowl MVP award in four out the five Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, LI). Brady also won NFL MVP 3 times, is a 3 time First-team All-Pro, a 2 time Second-team All-Pro, along with too many more awards to continue listing. I’ve linked his Wikipedia page down below if you would like the full list. Additionally, Brady has led countless comebacks, the most famous being 25 points down against Atlanta with just over 2 minutes left in the third quarter. He proceeded to lead the Patriots and tied the Falcons at 28 to send then game into overtime. In overtime Brady only needed one drive to send the Patriots into the end zone and onto the podium as the Super Bowl 51 Champions. Tom Brady also holds top 5 records in the 4 major quarterback categories: touchdowns, passing yards, passes completed, and passer rating. Brady clocks in at fourth place in all-time passing yards with 68,907 (as I last checked), a few thousand short of Brett Favre at number 3. He also pops up fourth in all-time passes completed with 5,871. Again coming in at fourth in all-time passing touchdowns (505, 3 short of 3rd place (Brett Favre at 508)). Finally, he comes in at fourth once more with an all-time passer rating of 97.5, .3 three short of third place, trailing 3rd place Drew Brees with a 97.8 passer rating. Brady also does fantastic charity work partnering up with Best Buddies International, nonprofit organization which helped intellectually and developmentally disabled people. Over the past 6 years, Brady has helped them raise over $20 million. Best Buddies has also Brady’s Change the World Foundation, donating $3.25 million. Brady’s Change the World Foundation has donated money to a few high schools and lots of the money has also been donated to other charities headed by Brady’s teammates. Brady also was not in attendance for the start of the Patriots off-season conditioning program because he was Qatar doing charity work with Best Buddies

1. J.J. Watt

While Tom Brady may be the GOAT, the top spot has to go Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The most recent Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award winner, goes above and beyond with his philanthropy, and easily takes the cake as the NFL’s most charitable player. With more philanthropic and charitable efforts than I can list I’ll hit his highlights, but keep in mind Watt has done and helped with so many more acts of charity. In August of last year Watt started a YouCaring campaign for relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. With lots of help from other celebrities and mass social media attention the campaign raised more than $37 million for Hurricane Harvey victims. Last but most certainly not least, J.J. Watt has been a fantastic force behind mass shooting relief efforts. In two tragic school shootings, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and the shooting at Santa Fe High School, Watt met with some of the students of Sandy Hook and gave them a day of fun with him, a much needed one. In response to the Santa Fe High School shooting J.J. Watt paid for the funerals of the 10 people killed in the shooting. As if Watt hasn’t already gone above and beyond with his philanthropy the Baylor College of Medicine awarded him, alongside Houston EMS Director Dr. David Persse, an honorary doctorate degree in the humanities. If you don’t believe the old adage “just one person can make a difference” look no further than J.J. Watt for proof. For a brief rundown of Watt’s defensive prowess he is a 4-time Pro Bowler, a 4-time All-Pro, and has won AP Defensive Player of the Year 3 times, in his first 5 season! Like the other two players on this list Watt has earned even more awards and his Wikipedia page is linked below as well for a full list of his awards. Watt tears through offensive lines and is always one of the most feared players on the field. Watt’s defensive prowess alone could place him in the top 5 conversation, very well the top 3, but his astonishing philanthropy that excels him to the top spot.

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