The selection of football players for the 2104 Pro Bowl was announced Friday night by the NFL, with the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers leading the pack with eight players each.
The Pro Bowl, the yearly All-Star match up for the NFL, is to be played at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI one week ahead of the Super Bowl. Players are selected using a variety of voting methods, including online voting by fans and more secret voting by players and coaches. This year, in a move never seen before in the history of the NFL, instead of choosing players based on their conference, players were chosen based on their position, meaning that there were eight wide receivers chosen while only two fullbacks made the Pro Bowl cut. Next month, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders, both former players currently in the football Hall of Fame, will hold a draft to select the teams, taking turns choosing players in a playground style match up. The NFL will televise the draft on the NFL Network on January 22 at 8 p.m. ET.
With this type of draw, it is likely that players currently on the same team will be pitted against one another for the Bowl game. Players on the winning team will receive $53,000 for the game, while the losing team will only take home $26,000 for the honor.
Two quarterbacks received the majority of the fan votes, with the Broncos’ Peyton Manning coming out on top with 4.3 million votes, followed somewhat closely by 1.2 million received by the Saints’ Drew Brees. This will be the 13th time Manning has been selected for the Pro Bowl and the 8th time Brees has been chosen.
As always, once the Super Bowl teams are announced, the list of those selected to play in the Pro Bowl may change. With the Chiefs and 49ers each leading the pack with eight players in the Pro Bowl, a lot of spots could open up should either of those teams go on to the Super Bowl.
Without further ado, the selection by position:
Quarterback: Patriots’ Tom Brady; Seahawks’ Russell Wilson; Saints’ Drew Brees; Panthers’ Cam Newton; Chargers’ Philip Rivers; Broncos’ Peyton Manning.
Wide receiver: Cowboys’ Dez Bryant; Steelers’ Antonio Brown; Browns’ Josh Gordon; Texans’ Andre Johnson; Bengals’ A.J. Green; Lions’ Calvin Johnson; Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas; Bears’ Brandon Marshall.
Running back: Bears’ Matt Forte; Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles; 49ers’ Frank Gore; Eagles’ LeSean McCoy; Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch; Vikings’ Adrian Peterson.
Tackle: Eagles’ Jason Peters; Chiefs’ Branden Albert; Cowboys’ Tyron Smith; Browns’ Joe Thomas; 49ers’ Joe Staley; Redskins’ Trent Williams.
Guard: Saints’ Ben Grubbs; Saints’ Jahri Evans; 49ers’ Mike Iupati; Broncos’ Louis Vasquez; Ravens’ Marshal Yanda; Patriots’ Logan Mankins.
Center: Browns’ Alex Mack; Panthers’ Ryan Kalil; Seahawks’ Max Unger; Dolphins’ Mike Pouncey.
Tight end: 49ers’ Vernon Davis; Browns’ Jordan Cameron; Broncos’ Julius Thomas; Saints’ Jimmy Graham.
Fullback: Panthers’ Mike Tolbert; Raiders’ Marcel Reece.
Defensive end: Saints’ Cameron Jordan; Panthers’ Greg Hardy; Rams’ Robert Quinn; Texans’ J.J. Watt; Dolphins’ Cameron Wake; Bills’ Mario Williams.
Interior lineman: Ravens’ Haloti Ngata; Bucs’ Gerald McCoy; Chiefs’ Dontari Poe; Lions’ Ndamukong Suh; 49ers’ Justin Smith; Bills’ Kyle Williams.
Outside linebacker: 49ers’ Ahmad Brooks; Cardinals’ John Abraham; Chiefs’ Tamba Hali; Colts’ Robert Mathis; Chiefs’ Justin Houston; Ravens’ Terrell Suggs.
Inside/middle linebacker: Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict; 49ers’ NaVorro Bowman; 49ers’ Patrick Willis; Panthers’ Luke Kuechly.
Cornerback: Dolphins’ Brent Grimes; Chiefs’ Brandon Flowers; Browns’ Joe Haden; Bucs’ Darrelle Revis; Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson; Seahawks’ Richard Sherman; Titans’ Alterraun Verner; Patriots’ Aqib Talib.
Free safety: Seahawks’ Earl Thomas; Bills’ Jairus Byrd; Chargers’ Eric Weddle.
Strong safety: Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor; Chiefs’ Eric Berry; Steelers’ Troy Polamalu.
With the 49ers and Chiefs leading the pack in this Pro Bowl selection, it remains to be seen if either of these obviously strong teams will be announced as players in the 2014 Super Bowl.
By Marisa Corley