The honor is given annually to note the accomplishments of players both on and off the field. It is named for late NFL running back Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears.
Brees led the NFL with 4,418 passing yards and topped the NFC with 26 touchdown passes and a 96.2 quarterback rating in leading the Saints to their first division title in six seasons.
Off the field Brees associated with rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and, with teammate Deuce McAllister, the NFL Youth Education Town and Pan American Football Field. Brees also is the host of a golf tournament that raises funds for San Diego Children's Hospital and Cancer Research.
Tomlinson, the league's leading rusher this season, set single-season NFL records for touchdowns and points as the Chargers won the AFC West.
He provides game tickets and a post-game dinner for children in San Diego and has his name on a scholarship that helps 25 college-bound students. Tomlinson also established a camp that stresses character-building in children.