By the end of the week, there may be more Panthers in Honolulu than Charlotte.
Gross becomes the Panthers’ seventh player in the game, along with quarterback Cam Newton, fullback Mike Tolbert, center Ryan Kalil, middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, defensive end Greg Hardy and long snapper J.J. Jansen.
The Panthers coaching staff is also there, with Ron Rivera set to lead the team picked by captain Jerry Rice.
Earning the honor puts a little more light on one of the Panthers’ most intriguing decisions of the offseason.
Gross’ contract voids after last year’s restructuring, and he’s said if he’s going to play again, he’s only playing for the Panthers. That doesn’t give him much of what you’d call leverage, but he played well enough last season to make them consider bringing him back, while they address other contractual matters (such as Hardy’s pending free agency) this offseason.