When the NFL announced the 2014 Pro Bowlers last month, we knew there would be plenty of dropouts: The players in the Super Bowl don’t play in the Pro Bowl, some players get injured and some players just don’t feel like going to Hawaii.
But now that the two Pro Bowl teams have been announced (Team Rice and Team Sanders, for their Hall of Fame honorary captains), we can look back and see that a team made up of the original Pro Bowlers who won’t be in Hawaii on Sunday (which I’ve dubbed Team Mainland) would be competitive with either Team Sanders or Team Rice.
Here’s the breakdown of how many of the original Pro Bowlers ended up on Team Rice, Team Sanders and Team Mainland.
Team Mainland (27)
Patriots QB Tom Brady, Broncos QB Peyton Manning, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, 49ers RB Frank Gore, Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas, Texans WR Andre Johnson, Lions WR Calvin Johnson, 49ers OT Joe Staley, Eagles OT Jason Peters, 49ers OG Mike Iupati, Broncos OG Louis Vasquez, Seahawks C Max Unger, 49ers TE Vernon Davis, Broncos TE Julius Thomas, 49ers DT Justin Smith, Ravens DT Haloti Ngata, 49ers OLB Ahmad Brooks, 49ers ILB Navorro Bowman, 49ers ILB Patrick Willis, Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, Patriots CB Aqib Talib, Seahawks FS Earl Thomas, Seahawks SS Kam Chancellor, Steelers SS Troy Polamalu, Broncos PK Matt Prater
Team Rice (28)
Saints QB Drew Brees, Chargers QB Philip Rivers, Bears RB Matt Forte, Eagles RB LeSean McCoy, Bears WR Brandon Marshall, Browns WR Josh Gordon, Cowboys OT Tyron Smith, Browns OT Joe Thomas, Saints OG Jahri Evans, Saints OG Ben Grubbs, Panther C Ryan Kalil, Saints TE Jimmy Graham, Panthers FB Mike Tolbert, Saints DE Cameron Jordan, Rams DE Robert Quinn, Dolphins DE Cameron Wake, Bills DT Kyle Williams, Cardinals OLB John Abraham, Chiefs OLB Justin Houston, Colts OLB Robert Mathis, Bengals WLB Vontaze Burfict, Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers, Browns CB Joe Haden, Titans CB Alterraun Verner, Bills FS Jairus Byrd, Rams P Johnny Hekker, Chiefs PR Dexter McCluster, Cardinals ST Justin Bethel.
Team Sanders (30)
Panthers QB Cam Newton, Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, Steelers WR Antonio Brown, Cowboys WR Dez Bryant, Bengals WR A.J. Green, Chiefs OT Branden Albert, Redskins OT Trent Williams, Pariots OG Logan Mankins, Ravens OG Marshal Yanda, Browns C Alex Mack, Dolphins C Mike Pouncey, Browns TE Jordan Cameron, Raiders FB Marcel Reece, Texans DE J.J. Watt, Bills DE Mario Williams, Panthers DE Greg Hardy, Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, Chiefs NT Dontari Poe, Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy, Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali, Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs, Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly, Dolphins CB Brent Grimes, Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson, Buccaneers CB Darrelle Revis, Chargers FS Eric Weddle, Chiefs SS Eric Berry, Dolphins P Brandon Fields, Ravens PK Justin Tucker, Patriots ST Matthew Slater.