ATLANTA — New Orleans defensive end Cameron Jordan is arguably having the best season of his illustrious seven-year career on the field. 

Jordan has also been making a big impact off of the field. 

New Orleans has nominated Jordan for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year award, a prestigious trophy annually given to the player who make an impact with community service off the field in addition to excellence on it. 

Jordan was nominated for his work with schools in the New Orleans area — he spends his off day each week reading to kids at a different school — and participated in both a USO tour to visit troops overseas and a trip to Israel. 

"You have kids that may not come from much, but they just want a little inspiration," Jordan said on a video released by the Saints. "If I can be that inspiration, I want to give it to them. If there's a spark, and I can give a little bit of love, to make them into an inferno, I've done my part."

Three finalists for the award will be selected in January, and the award will be presented at the NFL Honors Awards Show the night before the Super Bowl. The NFL will donate $500,000 in name of the winner: $250,000 to a charity of his choice and $250,000 to expand Character Playbook, an NFL program, around the country. The NFL will also donate $100,000 for the other finalists, and $50,000 in donations for the other 29 nominees around the NFL. 

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.