Most Pro Bowl snubs likely won’t last long
One of the most common exercises following the release of the names of the players who will participate in the one postseason game about which no one cares is the compilation of lists of the players who were snubbed.
But in flagging a player who should have gotten a spot, the challenge becomes identifying the player who got one and shouldn’t have.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, for example, finished third overall in fan voting but didn’t get one of the six quarterback slots -- which means that he fared poorly in the other two prongs of the process, coach voting and player voting.
So who should Dalton replace? The six who made it are Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Russell Wilson.
Before too long, it won’t matter. Dalton, a first alternate, will replace one of those six quarterbacks, because his team makes it to the Super Bowl or because he’s injured or because he’s “injured.”
The same applies to other snubs. Most will get a spot, unless their team makes it to the Super Bowl or he’s injured or he’s “injured.”
For some, it’s easier to identify the player who shouldn’t have made it. Dolphins safety Reshad Jones definitely should have gotten a spot before Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, who held out for the first two games of the postseason and then cruised to Honolulu on reputation. Panthers safety Kurt Coleman, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, and Vikings safety Harrison Smith also have strong cases for the Pro Bowl.
Browns tight end Gary Barnidge, Washington tight end Jordan Reed, and Titans tight end Delanie Walker also had solid years. But it’s hard to argue with Tyler Eifert, Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, and Greg Olsen.
The Vikings had only one Pro Bowl in Adrian Peterson. Cordarrelle Patterson already has been mentioned as a kick-return snub. Several others potential Pro Bowlers are Smith, linebacker Anthony Barr, and defensive tackle Linval Joseph.
A couple of players with questionable reputations deserved more consideration, but likely were omitted due to their notoriety. Bills guard Richie Incognito had a Pro Bowl season in his first year back from an ugly 2013, and Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones has played a key role in Cincinnati -- but he’s only a seventh alternate.
Regardless, plenty of the guys who made this and other snub lists eventually will get in. Except for maybe seventh-alternate Pacman. Who’d nevertheless prefer, like all other Pro Bowlers, to not be available for the game.