New Orleans Saints linebacker Pete Werner has been named the team's nominee for the NFL's 2023 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. The Salute to Service Award recognizes NFL players, coaches, staff and alumni with proven commitment to honoring and supporting military and veteran communities, as nominated by NFL clubs.
Werner was the team's second round draft pick out of Ohio State in 2021. Werner honors the sacrifices made by all military members as he never hesitates to engage in any military-related engagement. As the proud grandson of a pair of military veterans, he understands and respects the sacrifices that are made by military members and their families. One grandfather, Richard E. Cowen, served in the United States Navy Dental Corps from 1963-65 where he was stationed in San Diego. His deceased grandfather, Roland F. Werner, served in the Navy from 1959-63, stationed in Pensacola, Fla., and Newfoundland, Canada. Werner also wore the initials of a TAPS fallen soldier on the back of his helmet during last year's Saints Salute to Service game and engaged with the fallen soldier's family after a practice held at the team's facility. Werner connects with our local military community as he was a heavily engaged participant in the Saints Battle of the Branches event, which is one of the Saints' major activations as part of the NFL's Salute to Service initiative. During the event, local members of all four branches competed in a series of challenges on the indoor field, buoyed by Werner's encouragement, including a flag football game, tug of war, the 40-yard dash and more. Werner remains eager to empower members of the military as he looks forward to once again interacting and supporting our military this month.
Werner is ranked second on the team in 2023 with 51 tackles, a split sack, one interception, one pass defensed and a quarterback hit.
Returning this year, fans have an opportunity to vote for their favorite nominee to help determine the award's three finalists. To see all the nominees and vote, visit NFL.com/SaluteFanVote from now until Nov. 30. One vote per day, per fan is permitted.
The finalists of the award will be announced in January, and the recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally in February during the week of Super Bowl LVIII.