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NFL Man of the Year Nominees 2022 | Dolphins |


Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) during Pollo Tropical art installation in NE tunnel at Hard Rock Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Carlos Goldman/Miami Dolphins via AP)
Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) during Pollo Tropical art installation in NE tunnel at Hard Rock Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Carlos Goldman/Miami Dolphins via AP)

Jaelan Phillips


Table inside Article
Position College Years in the NFL
Linebacker Miami 2

Excellence on the Field:

Drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2021, Jaelan Phillips was quick to make an impact on the field as a rookie. His 8.5 sacks in 2021 broke the Dolphins rookie record and were second among all NFL rookies. He was selected to the 2021 PFWA All-Rookie Team. In 2022, he consistently finds his way into the backfield, leading the team with 12 quarterback hits. He has the second-most sacks with 3.5 for 23 yards through Week 10. Jaelans was selected in the first round (18thoverall) by Miami in the 2021 NFL Draft. He has played in27 games with 14 starts, totaling 72 tackles (37 solo), 12 sacks, 2 passes defensed and 3 fumble recoveries

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts This Year:

This year, Jaelan Phillips made it his mission to capitalize on his first-year efforts, while finding ways to expand his impact and identify more communities in need. Driven by last year's success and his personal connections to the mission, Jaelan joined the Dolphins Challenge Cancer executive board. He will again participate in the 100-mile ride while also adding a leadership role in awareness, fundraising and growth of the event. Jaelan visited Alex's Place at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to meet pediatric and adult cancer patients on his off day, inspired by the direct beneficiaries of DCC funds. When natural disaster struck in the form of Hurricane Ian, he donated $2,000 towards relief efforts, totaling more than $30,000 with his teammates' donations to provide food, water and relief supplies for Fort Myers residents. He continues his efforts with The VERB Kind to recruit more mentors and raise funds for programming to benefit juvenile youth. Jaelan also brought the Miami Dolphins rookie class on two separate visits–one to the Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center where he first became involved with The VERB Kind, and a second to the Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center. He seeks to inspire others to find common ground with these kids and to empower them to go beyond their own circumstances. Jaelan is hosting a Thanksgiving meal distribution to serve meals to families connected with Alex's Place, Break the Cycle and Casey Cares Foundation–local organizations connected to the DCC mission. Along with his defensive line teammates, Jaelan will also host a Thanksgiving dinner for 100 South Florida youth at Hard Rock Stadium and participate the team meal distribution in the same week

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past:

As a rookie, Jaelan sought every opportunity to create positive changes in his immediate and outlying communities. He responded to disasters and connected with organizations dedicated to homelessness, incarcerated youth, the fight against cancer and youth mentorship. Just a few months after he was drafted, tragedy struck South Florida when a Surfside condo building collapsed in the middle of the night. Through the Miami Dolphins Food Relief Program, he purchased meals to feed displaced Miami Beach residents following the subsequent building inspections. He also visited Miami Rescue Mission, a shelter for people experiencing homelessness, to serve meals, provide drinks and donate clothing. Phillips channeled his efforts into Lotus House, a women's and children's shelter in the Overtown, Miami. Whether it was speaking to the kids living in the shelter, uplift in the form of Halloween costumes and festivities or Thanksgiving cookie decorating, Jaelan was quick to lead in his own efforts to serve South Florida, as well as his eager participation in all team events. In addition to the holiday and Thanksgiving team events, he helped configure WiFi extenders for Palm Beach County students as part of the Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee's commitment to bridge the digital divide, and he joined Miami-Dade elementary school students via Zoom calls to inspire them through the Values Matter program ideals. Jaelan committed to participating in every team event but strive to have an even greater impact on the South Florida community. He sought additional opportunities with local organizations and began strategizing events of his own. He surprised pediatric patients at a local hospital with gifts before joining the team to surprise local families at a holiday movie night and gift event. He participated in the team Thanksgiving meal distribution that served more than 8,500 families. When he learned about the opportunity to participate in the Dolphins Challenge Cancer event benefiting Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Jaelan found inspiration in his family's own battles with cancer. He signed up for the 100-mile ride, inspiring others to ride and fundraise. He totaled more than $3,000 and became one of the first two players to ever ride the 100-mile. Before the year was up, Jaelan became involved with The VERB Kind, an organization dedicated to the mentorship and empowerment of incarcerated youth. He visited the Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center to speak to the kids about his own adversities and to listen to theirs. Driven by the positive reaction from the kids at the detention center, he returned for several visits, bringing his teammates along to play basketball and football

Positive Character & a Lifestyle of Giving Back:

Jaelan Phillips always jumps at any chance to volunteer at a team community event or capitalize on the team's connections with local organizations to lead his own efforts. Not one to ever turn away at an opportunity to help someone, Jaelan's strength is the inclusivity of his efforts. From incarcerated youth to homelessness, cancer and disease awareness, youth mentorship and underserved communities, Jaelan's recognition of people in need and his vision to help them sets him apart in his tireless efforts. His mother, a school superintendent, and his father impressed the importance of community service. He has reflected on trips to build houses in underdeveloped countries with his parents, and with multiple family members who inspired him through their own philanthropic endeavors, he has only found more motivation to capitalize on his platform as an NFL player. Jaelan's journey in football hasn't always been smooth. After medically retiring from football, he learned new parts of himself outside of the sport, including a passion for music. After a hiatus from the game, a transfer and eventual success at the University of Miami, here discovered his passion for the game and also discovered the power for positive impact with it. The Miami Dolphins are proud to select Jaelan Phillips as their 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.