Solomon Thomas, New York Jets
Solomon Thomas, New York Jets, Getty Images

Thomas is a part of the rebuilt Jets culture

When Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas committed to bringing in high-character players, they did it the right way.

Part of that was filling out the balance of the roster with culture builders, not just the top.

Defensive tackle Solomon Thomas was signed as an ideal example. Although Thomas has not lived up to his billing as the third overall pick in 2017, Saleh wanted him both for his knowledge of the system and his presence in the locker room.

Indeed, we have seen his character shine through in what he has not said. While other players grumble about reductions in playing time, we haven’t heard a peep from Thomas despite his clear loss of his starting job to Sheldon Rankins.

Now, Thomas has been nominated for the NFL’s most prestigious character-related honor: the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Each team nominates one player for the award, and the winner is announced at the ESPYs on the eve of the Super Bowl.

Per the Jets’ website, Thomas co-founded the nonprofit The Defensive Line, and he utilizes the platform to spread a hopeful and uplifting message all around the country. He often speaks to high school students about mental health. Thomas has also donated to a laundry list of meaningful charitable causes.

To give back to his community, Thomas has run a Youth Football camp in the past, giving middle and high school football players the opportunity to learn from top players and coaches.

Per the Jets website, Thomas said, “It’s the highest of honors to be nominated for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for the New York Jets. I’m blessed to have a platform to impact lives and give back to help others. I believe it’s a duty of ours to uplift those fighting for better, a duty I will hold forever.”

Congratulations to Solomon Thomas on his nomination for one of the NFL’s highest honors.

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Rivka Boord has followed the Jets since the age of five. She is known locally for her in-depth knowledge of football. She hopes to empower young women to follow their dreams and join the sports conversation. Boord's background in analytics infuses her articles with unique insights into the state of the Jets' franchise and the NFL as a whole.
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