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NFL Man of the Year Nominees 2022 | Browns |


Cleveland Browns

Fuel Up To Play 60 Local Service Project at Joseph M. Gallagher School on July18, 2019
Fuel Up To Play 60 Local Service Project at Joseph M. Gallagher School on July18, 2019

Joel Bitonio


Table inside Article
Position College Years in the NFL
Guard Nevada 9

Excellence on the Field:

Joel Bitonio is currently in his 9th season and is the longest-tenured Browns player on the roster. Joel has not missed an offensive snap since the start of the 2017 season, including starting two games at left tackle in 2021, due to injuries and COVID-19. Joel was named to the NFL's Pro Bowl for the fourth consecutive year (2018-2021), the first player to make four straight Pro Bowl appearances since 1971 for the Browns. In 2018, he was named the Browns Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award winner. Joel was selected to the 2020 and 2021 PFWA All-NFL Team. Joel was also the only offensive rookie to be named to the 2014 PFWA All-AFC team while also earning PFWA All-Rookie team honors. Prior to the start of the 2022 season, he was voted as the No. 55 player in the NFL on the "Top 100 Players of 2022" rankings released by the league. Joel currently serves as a captain of the 2022 Cleveland Browns team.

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts This Year:

Joel has been a role model in the Northeast Ohio community since the day he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns. Just this year, so far, he has participated in nearly 10 community events. Joel is especially a leader in the education space, making sure students stay in school and continue to show up every day. He is an integral part of a statewide initiative to increase school attendance. Additionally, during the offseason, Joel attended the Cleveland Browns Adapted Football League All-Star Game and spent two hours talking to the athletes and giving them football tips. This is an event he has gone to for many years, and even has a relationship with some of the athletes who play. Everyone was excited to see him and remembered him from years past. In addition to participating in Browns' events, Joel also hosted his own Back to School Bash in August at a local high school. Joel purchased $5,000 worth of back-to-school supplies, including Nike backpacks, for 100 kids in the Garfield Heights School District. Joel spent time with each student as they received their "back to school" kit and participated in activities with them including football drills and an ice cream sandwich giveaway. Additionally, this past fall, Joel served as honorary co-chair for Taste of the Browns, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank's largest fundraiser of the year hosted at FirstEnergy Stadium in partnership with the Cleveland Browns. For this, Joel attended and spoke at the two-hour event and generously donated $5,000 to the organization. During Training Camp, Joel hosted the group "A Kid Again," which provides support for children with life-threatening conditions. Not only did he spend quality time with each child that day, but he also made sure to get nearly all his teammates to stop by and say hi. He will even be supporting "A Kid Again" through his My Cause My Cleats this year. Most recently, Joel attended the University Hospitals hospital visit in alignment with Crucial Catch. There, he was able to spend time with about 10 oncology patients to brighten their day and talk about Cleveland Browns football. Since its establishment in 2020, Joel has been a member of the Browns Social Justice Committee Leadership Council, where he has been an integral part of conversations about how the Browns can continue to make a difference in the social justice space, including donating money to various social justice nonprofit organizations across Northeast Ohio.

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past:

Since Joel joined the Cleveland Browns in 2014, he has been dedicated to giving back to the Northeast Ohio community. He consistently shows a steady and solid commitment to being a community ambassador and role model for the rest of the team. In his nine seasons with the Browns, Joel has participated in over 100 events, showing his dedication to giving back to the community. There are many events that he continues to participate in year over year, including Taste of the Browns, Thanksgiving at the Food Bank, Joe Thomas' Shop with a Pro Event and many others. Starting in 2014, he participated in Thomas' Shop with a Pro Event at Dick's Sporting Goods to show support for his teammate. Once Thomas retired, Joel was inspired to continue the event by taking it over. In 2018, Joel took it on himself to keep up the tradition for local Cleveland recreation center children and make sure they continued to have a happy holiday season. COVID-19 did not stop Joel from hosting this event, and by working with the Community Relations department, was able to "host" Home Team Holiday Cheer, where he partnered with Meijer to purchase gift cards for rec center kids and also gaming systems for several rec centers. Also, around the holidays, Joel makes an effort to always be at the Browns First and Ten Tuesday Thanksgiving at the Food Bank where he volunteers at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank with Browns staff and other players packing bags for kids' school lunches. Additionally, whenever we have guests at our Training Facility, such as special groups or military, Joel is always around to say hello. Every year at Training Camp during Military Day, Joel makes sure to stop by and show his support for our armed forces. Joel also always participates in My Cause My Cleats, representing various organizations including American Heart Association and A Kid Again. Joel is also a strong advocate for our Cleveland Browns Foundation's Stay in the Game! Network, which works to reduce chronic absenteeism across Ohio. He has participated in the Browns Foundation Golf Tournament since his rookie year and continues to make education a priority in his commitment to Northeast Ohio.

Positive Character & a Lifestyle of Giving Back:

Joel Bitonio is a role model for the entire Cleveland Browns team and what it means to show consistency in positive character and live a life of giving back to his community. As seen from the previous two questions, once Joel commits to an event, he will continue to show support year over year. Just a few examples of this include the following: Taste of the Browns (where he has served as honorary co-chair for the last two years), Joe Thomas' and now his Shop with a Pro shopping event for local Cleveland rec kids, Thanksgiving volunteer day at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, our Cleveland Browns Foundation Golf Tournament and many more. For this year's Taste of the Browns, Joel was able to get seven other players to attend the event to support the mission of the Food Bank. Joel is extremely selfless in all he does for the community and especially focuses on education through our Browns Foundation Stay in the Game! Network, including several school visits throughout his years with the team. He has also been the Fuel up to Play 60 ambassador since 2019 where he encourages kids to eat healthy and stay active. As a captain of the team this year, Joel continues to remain a role model for rookies and other young players when it comes to giving back to the community and stresses the importance of getting out and giving back. The Cleveland Browns are proud to select Joel Bitonio as their 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.