Welcome to the (largely replacement) Pro Bowl

AP

Sunday’s Pro Bowl features the best of the NFL’s best.

Unless it doesn’t.

While some degree of attrition is expected, the current rate is kind of ridiculous.

Of the 86 players initially named to the game, we’re already at 36 replacements and counting.

A total of 14 players left because they’re involved in the Super Bowl (10 Panthers and four Broncos), but at the moment, another 22 players have backed out because of injuries or personal reasons.

The game was already a sham, but the diaspora at certain glamour positions make it even more so now. Five of the six quarterbacks originally picked are out, as are five of the six initial picks at outside linebacker. All three free safeties have been replaced as well, along with three cornerbacks and three wide receivers.

So have fun with that, and enjoy this list (which we’ll update with the inevitable future replacements):

2016 Pro Bowlers

QUARTERBACKS (6)
Tom Brady, New England (replaced by Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay)
Cam Newton, Carolina (replaced by Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo)
Carson Palmer, Arizona (replaced by Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (replaced by Derek Carr, Oakland)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (replaced by Eli Manning, New York Giants)
Russell Wilson, Seattle

RUNNING BACKS (6)
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina (replaced by Latavius Murray, Oakland)
Todd Gurley, St. Louis
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay
LeSean McCoy, Buffalo (replaced by Chris Ivory, New York Jets)

FULLBACKS (2)
Marcel Reece, Oakland
Mike Tolbert, Carolina (replaced by Patrick DiMarco, Atlanta).

TIGHT ENDS (4)
Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati
Rob Gronkowski, New England (replaced by Gary Barnidge, Cleveland)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City
Greg Olsen, Carolina (replaced by Delanie Walker, Tennessee)

WIDE RECEIVERS (8)
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (replaced by T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis)
A.J. Green, Cincinnati
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (replaced by Allen Robinson, Jacksonville)
Julio Jones, Atlanta
Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (replaced by Amari Cooper, Oakland)

TACKLES (6)
Tyron Smith, Dallas
Joe Staley, San Francisco
Joe Thomas, Cleveland
Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati
Trent Williams, Washington
Jason Peters, Philadelphia (replaced by Kyle Long, Chicago)

GUARDS (6)
David DeCastro, Pittsburgh
Mike Iupati, Arizona (replaced by Richie Incognito, Buffalo)
Josh Sitton, Green Bay
Trai Turner, Carolina (replaced by Logan Mankins, Tampa Bay)
Marshal Yanda, Baltimore
Zack Martin, Dallas

CENTERS (4)
Travis Frederick, Dallas
Ryan Kalil, Carolina (replaced by Eric Wood, Buffalo)
Mike Pouncey, Miami
Alex Mack, Cleveland

DEFENSIVE ENDS (6)
Ezekiel Ansah, Detroit
Michael Bennett, Seattle
Chandler Jones, New England
Khalil Mack, Oakland
J.J. Watt, Houston
Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets (replaced by Carlos Dunlap, Cincinnati)

INTERIOR LINEMEN (6)
Geno Atkins, Cincinnati
Calais Campbell, Arizona
Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia
Aaron Donald, St. Louis
Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay
Kawann Short, Carolina (replaced by Jurrell Casey, Tennessee)

INSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKERS (4)
Navorro Bowman, San Francisco
Luke Kuechly, Carolina (replaced by Derrick Johnson, Kansas City)
Clay Matthews, Green Bay
Bobby Wagner, Seattle

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (6)
Jamie Collins, New England (replaced by Anthony Barr, Minnesota)
Thomas Davis, Carolina (replaced by Elvis Dumervil, Baltimore)
Tamba Hali, Kansas City
Justin Houston, Kansas City (replaced by Sean Lee, Dallas)
Von Miller, Denver (replaced by Julius Peppers, Green Bay)
DeMarcus Ware, Denver (replaced by Lavonte David, Tampa Bay)

CORNERBACKS (8)
Chris Harris, Jr., Denver (replaced by Vontae Davis, Indianapolis)
Josh Norman, Carolina (replaced by Desmond Trufant, Atlanta)
Marcus Peters, Kansas City
Patrick Peterson, Arizona (replaced by Adam Jones, Cincinnati)
Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
Richard Sherman, Seattle
Aqib Talib, Denver (replaced by Brent Grimes, Miami)
Malcolm Butler, New England (replaced by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants)

FREE SAFETIES (3)
Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona (replaced by Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia)
Reggie Nelson, Cincinnati (replaced by Reshad Jones, Miami)
Earl Thomas, Seattle (replaced by Harrison Smith, Minnesota)

STRONG SAFETIES (3)
Eric Berry, Kansas City
Kam Chancellor, Seattle (replaced by Mike Adams, Indianapolis)
Charles Woodson, Oakland

PUNTERS (2)
Sam Koch, Baltimore
Johnny Hekker, St. Louis

RETURN SPECIALISTS (2)
Tyler Lockett, Seattle
Darren Sproles, Philadelphia

PLACEKICKERS (2)
Dan Bailey, Dallas
Stephen Gostkowski, New England (replaced by Josh Brown, New York Giants)

SPECIAL TEAMERS (2)
Justin Bethel, Arizona
Matthew Slater, New England (replaced by Cedric Peerman, Cincinnati)

104 responses to “Welcome to the (largely replacement) Pro Bowl

  1. Wait, What? Jameis Winston and Tyrod Taylor as replacements for Tom Brady and Cam Newton?!!! Wow. Was Vince Young or Michael Vick not available?

  2. How about replacing the Pro Bowl with a free agent bowl? Get together a bunch of guys that aren’t under contract anywhere and have them play their butts off to get paid.

    I’d watch that.

  3. So, if you are selected, but don’t go, does it mean you’re still considered a “pro bowler”? What about if you go in as the replacement? Seems to water down what it means to be a “pro bowler” when you have 118 of them.

  4. It should be after the Super Bowl. Remember the good old days when the SB winners would play in it. The interviews with them during the game. The comradery, the smiles, the player recruiting. Man the Pro-Bowl was fun to watch in the 80’s-90’s.

  5. Don’t forget the replacements for the replacements! Philip Rivers allegedly passed on the Pro Bowl (not sure who he would have replaced, or who replaced him).

  6. What they need to do is call it the futures game. Have all the players be 25 years old or younger. The old vets never play anyway.

  7. “The game was already a sham, but the diaspora at certain glamour positions make it even more so now.”
    —-
    Diaspora? It’s nice to know words. But, it’s even better to know when to use them and when not to use them. In this case, you fail.

  8. I know the whole world hates Jay Cutler, and I know this game is a joke, but the fact that Teddy Bridgewater got a Pro Bowl invitation ahead of Cutler is asinine.

    Teddy’s stats: 14 TDs, 3,231 yards, 88.7 QBR.

    Jay’s stats: 21 TDs, 3, 659, 92.3 QBR. And he did that with virtually no supporting cast all season. He was throwing the ball to players who might not be on most team’s practice squads.

    I still believe that being called a “Pro Bowl” QB, or a “Pro Bowl” whatever position you play, helps you in FA and with your overall credibility/reputation as a player. Therefore, it’s still important.

  9. The kicker injured? Really? Must have pulled a quad in pre-game warmups since he wasn’t on the injury report. Could his injury have been why Belichek did not try the field goals in the fourth quarter. Makes perfect sense, in retrospect.

    Mike, Darren, or one of you guys, why not check that out for us and let us know the scoop?

  10. Roger Goodell: “Technically, it’s still the pro bowl just as long as everybody participating gets a paycheck.”

  11. Just like every other all star game in sports, this is just a shell of what it used to be.
    Bring back the game where an NFL team played a college team, I don’t remember what they used to call it.

  12. I never understood this. So can Teddy Bridgewater claim to have been “selected” for the Pro Bowl when he was really the fifth or sixth alternate?

  13. Do away with it. If they don’t care why should we.

    If you think it’s important (NFL term for profitable) then enforce participation. Move it to after the Super Bowl. Only excused absence is an injury which has kept you out of or unable finish previous game, otherwise suit up or be removed from future consideration for the honor.

  14. Richie Incognito!? I know he had a decent season, but I’d still have to think they’re scraping the barrel on that one.

    Maybe him and Mike Pouncey threatened all the other replacement options with swirleys and wedgies?

  15. I can’t remember a single Pro Bowl game I enjoyed. It isn’t actually football because you can’t do football things. It is really a show. But football is the one sport doesn’t fit this model. No player is going to risk another game playing full speed.

    The tweaks over the years have not helped, and this new draft thing is horrible. There is no distinction between sides except by former player. It isn’t even AFC/NFC anymore. Guys, they have a draft show, for the Pro Bowl! And they treat it like it is actually important. The time for this game is passed. It should be put out to pasture.

  16. Almost everyone on the list above is a Super Bowl replacement and just about everyone except a select few should be considered Pro Bowl criteria. Like 90%

    If you don’t vote or enjoy the Pro Bowl just continue to not watch it and quit your whining.

    You’re the type of person who’ll complain if a certain player doesn’t make it to the Pro Bowl and if that player did and got hurt complain they should never have played in it at all…

  17. The Pro Bowl is a waste of time. Just recognize the players with an award and the trip. The game is useless.

  18. A rising stars game wouldn’t be a bad idea, players in their first 2 or 3 seasons, granted the game wouldn’t be TOO much better, but at least people would be less likely to withdraw, because Players only like going the first few times.

    I still think a skills competetin like they did with the QB competetin back in the day, would be more fun, and less taxing on the players.

  19. Well, everybody, yuck it up, joke, please keep them coming…. Good ‘ol Roger Goodell is the only one to blame for this one! Make fun of HIM-NOT the PLAYERS!!! I for one would LOVE a free trip to Hawaii! However, I truly feel bad for these guys, because hey, they get one last chance to play this season if they want to and the media once again, are taking their shots! SCREW THE MEDIA, SCREW GOODELL! Have fun in Hawaii EVERYBODY!!!!!!

  20. As others have said, it’s time that this game was set aside. NBA and NHL all star games are also largely a farce, but at least those games can be played with minimal risk of injury. There aren’t many fouls or hits in those games, and the players basically pass around and try to make circus shots. Football doesn’t work like that, as the very nature of the game requires someone to be tackled on every play. So guys are trying not to get themselves or their opponents injured in the game.

    Let’s just name 1st, 2nd and 3rd team NFL all-pros and be done with the game. Find a way to wrap an awards ceremony, and maybe some skills competitions into that, so that guys will want to go to Hawaii for the trip and the fun. But get rid of the game that nobody cares about and nobody wants to play in.

  21. The NFL needs to move this game back to its original spot, after the superbowl. Just by doing that, the 14 players who can not play in this game would be able to play. The NFL is the only sport who structures its “all star” game such that it’s two best teams literally can’t participate. Stupid.

    By moving it back to its place after the end of the season, players who were injured during the season would have had a month to heal, and would be more likely to play. Goodell and his minions need to stop being stupid and make this an all star game that all stars can actually participate in.

  22. Not surprising that some of the replacements are better than the guys they’re replacing, others, not so much. Like politics, it’s a popularity contest as much as it is the selection of the best candidate.

  23. I have no idea why Dalton hasn’t made it yet, unless the reason is that they asked him to be a replacement and he said no because he’s injured. The man had an MVP-candidate year through the majority of the season (and was top 5 in fan voting).

    That aside, the game is on life support; pull the plug. Have a stupid skills competition that has no chance of causing injury, if you must televise something. Hell, have a damn charity softball game. The game that is televised at present has less in common with football than a game of flag football does.

  24. Replace the hall of fame game with the pro bowl. Have future hall of famers play the all star game to open the season. They can stay fresh with a lot of substitutions. Most star players won’t have an excuse to miss it because they would have a whole offseason

  25. Pro bowl selection has now become the equivalent of a participation trophy…. No longer the best of the season, just whosoever willing to show up…

    Many say it has become a QB driven league… Looking at those QBs who will be there, YIKES!… Eli Manning basically the only decent replacement and his play has been lacking lately…

  26. Hopefully, if everyone does as I have done for a while, and doesn’t tune in, the lack of ratings will convince the NFL it’s not worth the time, effort, and money.

    Making it a competition between two Hall of Fame players with a ‘draft’ rather than the AFC-NFC game was interesting, pitting teammates against each other, but the game was still (from what I read) of novelty value only. I can’t remember the last one I watched.

    #Probowlblackout

  27. I’m sick of all the Pro Bowl haters. Ok, you hate the game but stop whining and ignore it. I enjoy it for what it is. A NFL game played at 80% with limited hitting. The game isn’t going away either. Lots of people watch it.

  28. Roger, please move the Pro Bowl back to after the Super Bowl with the old format. This is a joke, especially with the talking heads like Michael Irving thinking he’s doing something really big. It’s becoming an embarrassment like yourself Roger. Why even have the fans vote??? Most of the fan favorites skip the game and let the junior varsity team play. Why do we vote?? Brent Grimes???? He can’t stop his wife let alone cover somebody in open space.

  29. I have a feeling this game is going to be so much of a joke that we actually are going to get some major changes. When almost none of the quarterbacks chosen choose to go, then the replacement quarterbacks politely decline, and what you’re left with is an all-star game with very average players at the most glamorous position, you have to do something about it.

  30. This all-star game (if you can even call it that anymore) has turned into what the college bowl season has become…earning, what should be rewarding, post-season accolades for average accomplishments. Hey, you weren’t the best QB in the league, or the 2nd best QB in the league…heck, you weren’t even the 6th best QB in the league! You were the 7th best…but hey, welcome to the Pro Bowl! WHAT A JOKE! I know they have to fill out the Pro Bowl rosters but c’mon man. Let’s just have a nice ceremony for the guys that actually earned it and quit with the “patty cake” game we’re trying to pass off as a Pro Bowl!

  31. I’m going to do my part in helping stop this joke: I will be watching hockey or college basketball instead. No need to give credibility to this gong show.

  32. Teddy Bridgewater was 22nd in the league in passing yards, only threw 14 TD’s and was sacked 44 times (the 6th most in the league). His QB rating was 88.7, which also ranks 22nd in the league. Welcome to the Pro Bowl Teddy…outstanding season! SMH…

  33. jaycutlersbarber
    Jan 26, 2016, 9:29 AM PST
    I know the whole world hates Jay Cutler, and I know this game is a joke, but the fact that Teddy Bridgewater got a Pro Bowl invitation ahead of Cutler is asinine.

    Teddy’s stats: 14 TDs, 3,231 yards, 88.7 QBR.

    Jay’s stats: 21 TDs, 3, 659, 92.3 QBR. And he did that with virtually no supporting cast all season. He was throwing the ball to players who might not be on most team’s practice squads.

    ————————–/

    Matthew Stafford

    4,262 yards
    32 TDs
    13 Ints

  34. I like the idea of a “Free Agent Bowl.”

    Give some guys a chance to demonstrate their skills, and maybe a chance to get signed.

    I bet these guys would bust their a$$ to get that chance.

  35. Just make it so contract incentives are not triggered unless you show up, were placed on IR or made the super bowl and only named alternates would count if they go. 6th string players that go get only the cash and are not recognized as pro bowl players.

  36. If I was a Patriot I wouldn’t participate in any league activities that I was not contractually obligated to attend.

  37. The skills competition is a good idea, but what skills would o line and d line guys do that would be entertaining ?

  38. dmm416 says:Jan 26, 2016 12:47 PM

    Richie Incognito!? I know he had a decent season, but I’d still have to think they’re scraping the barrel on that one.

    Maybe him and Mike Pouncey threatened all the other replacement options with swirleys and wedgies?
    __________________________________
    You should pay attention……Richie Incognito was the highest grated offensive guard ranked by Pro Football Focus all year long. Doesn’t sound like scraping the barrel to me. The Bills ranked number one in rushing, and a large part of that is due to Incognito.

  39. what is rodgers excuse for not being there? amazing how when the packers win he is the greatest qb of all time but when they lose there is always an excuse to make sure no blame is placed on him. injuries, poor protection, the receivers are not good enough. funny how when that was actually the case with Jay Cutler it didn’t matter he just sucked, but he did not suck up to the press like diva rodgers does.

  40. Remember when they played it in the same city as the Super Bowl?

    One of the incentives for playing in the game is a trip to Hawaii, and they tried to screw that up.

    Sandwiching it between the championship games and the Super Bowl was a dumb idea as well.

  41. I agree with pulling the plug on this game. These athletes feel so entitled that they can’t really “play” in a game, in Hawaii, after being chosen by the fans who basically help pay their salaries.
    Put in backups, 2nd and 3rd stringers, and drum up some stats to unload them in free agency. A “professional” senior bowl, for lack of a better term. Show off your rookies and backups. Pay THEM to play, and it will be a better game. Then, maybe the “stars” will want a piece and actually try to play.

  42. jerruhjones says:
    Jan 26, 2016 1:55 PM
    Send millionaires to Hawaii on a paid vacation. Only in ‘Merica.
    ______________

    That is the way the are compensated for thier time, and many players feel their time isnt worth that compensation. Why do you think so many have declined.

  43. I’d rather watch a “consolation” bowl between the conference champion game losers the weekend before the SB. I’ve barely ever even attempted to watch the probowl, but when I have it was about as exciting as the Weather Channel.

    I don’t imagine any players or teams would be all that excited about playing for a third place trophy either, but at least it could be marketed as a real game and involve some bonus checks and a little hardware.

  44. The Vikings didn’t get any players in the right way. However these merciful Viking replacements will give their perennially downtrodden fans a slight glimmer of hope for a better tomorrow.

  45. 86 original selections, and darn near half of them replaced… Even someone as clueless and obtuse as RG1 has to know there’s something wrong with this game as currently structured.

  46. It’s all because of the IDIOTIC decision to hold the Pro Bowl right after the conference title games, instead of AFTER the Super Bowl like it used to be.

  47. At least we know what a liar Roethlisburger is. Not injured enough to get his head handed to him in Denver but suddenly, he can’t play a powder puff exhibition game.

  48. Maybe they should play 7 on 7. NCAA OT style slightly modified. Play from the 30. Make it Flag Football. No helmets.

    You could get the Linemen involved by making a few series where they play the skill positions. Make it more for entertainment and comedy than competition. You would have to watch JJ Watt at WR being covered by Julius Peppers corner.

  49. Well Minny, you have a pro-bowl QB. Congratulations! Your offseason championship is off to a great start? 14TD, 9INT, and 5 Fumbles. You must be proud!

  50. Don’t forget the replacements for the replacements! Philip Rivers allegedly passed on the Pro Bowl (not sure who he would have replaced, or who replaced him).

    Rivers, Roethlisberger, Newton, Dalton, Palmer, Manning, and Brady.

  51. Minnesota is Very Proud! Proud of our NFC North Title, thrilled that our team is young and going to keep getting better, while the others in our division are just shells of themselves, sad huh??? Well, Packland, how’s that coin toss feeling about now???

  52. which team will GEAN HACKMAN be coaching..(the guy..coach.. in the Replacements movie)…….maybe we should change the name to the gean hackman BOWL

  53. whatjusthapped says:
    Jan 26, 2016 2:17 PM

    I elected to skip this year’s game the minute they invited Teddy Bridgwater, what a joke.
    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷
    Oh no! Anything but that! Teddy is going to be heartbroken over this news.

  54. I think a skills competition would be fun, but you could expand it beyond skills competitions for the more boring to watch positions:

    1) Offensive line men tug of war over a muddy pit.
    2) 3-legged race with a TEs and Punters linked.
    3) DL’s in a limbo contest.

    Or scrap it all and put them all through a “Wipe Out” nerf style obstacle course.

    Maybe a “futures game” to cap it all off.

  55. Players should be banned from EVER getting another “pro bowl” bonus again if they decline for reasons other than SB or injury. It is DISRESPECTFUL to the fans who VOTE for them!!!

  56. People LOVE to BASH Peterson and yet, he has ALWAYS gone to the Pro Bowl when invited! You NEVER see him feeling sorry for himself, crying boohoo, we didn’t win, so I’m not going, wah, wah wah…. In fact, how many years in a row was it that Urlacher declined when the BEARS SUCKED so bad?? Yeah, I’ll NEVER forget that! All his adoring fans wanting to see him, and him declining. And before you say he was injured, NO he was not in the years I am mentioning!!

  57. Jason Verrett isn’t listed. He was the 5th highest rated Cornerback in the NFL in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus.

    **********

    Jason Verrett was humbled when he was named first alternate to the Pro Bowl at the end of December.
    Now, he’s officially on his way to Hawaii as the second-year cornerback will replace Darrelle Revis (injured) in the annual all-star event.

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