Not everyone is going to be able to enjoy the sunny beaches of Honolulu for the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl. In fact, most of the NFL will be spending the week elsewhere.
As it is every year, there are going to be deserving players who get snubbed. Last year, Richard Sherman and Alfred Morris were absolutely robbed.
So who is it going to be this year? Which players who put up fantastic seasons will be spending Pro Bowl week at home?
Read on to find out.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
The second-year wideout has flourished in Chicago this year, notching 86 receptions for 1,341 yards and seven touchdowns.
He also has a knack for fantastic catches. Did you see this one?
Yeah, that'll work. Jeffery has a fantastic combination of size and speed and is becoming nearly impossible to cover.
He has confidence about himself. Last year we sat down and talked about goals, and his goal was to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Some older guys would look at that kid like, "You’re ridiculous." I looked at it and said, "Hey, I’ve got the same attitude. You’ve got to dream big. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will." I respected him for that. [So] everybody out there, you need to vote for Alshon Jeffery, Pro Bowl.
Look, Jeffery is going to have a hard time getting to Honolulu. There are too many great players ahead of him. There's just no way he's going to beat out Calvin Johnson or A.J. Green. Heck, there's probably no way he can beat out his teammate Marshall.
But Jeffery is a player on the rise. His skill set is fantastic, and he is quickly becoming a favorite target of Jay Cutler. According to Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com, Cutler had high praise for Jeffery:
You watched him make some plays, and you're like, "Man, if this happens consistently, he's gonna be hard to stop." He's just too good. He makes too many big plays. He's too consistent at practices. It's every day with this guy. He's doing things on the sideline when we're not going. He's a consummate pro at Year 2, which is hard to find. Most guys, it takes three or four years to figure out what they need to do on and off the field. But Alshon's got it nailed. He's very even-keeled. He's gonna be around for a long time.
Jeffery will eventually be a Pro Bowler—but not this year. He's overshadowed by Marshall, and there are just too many talented receivers with big-name recognition who will get the nod.
Paul Posluszny, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars
It's been a rough year for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but don't tell that to Paul Posluszny.
The linebacker has had a fantastic season, recording 152 tackles and two interceptions.
Tad Dickman, communications coordinator for the team, gave some historical perspective:
LB Paul Posluszny (2nd in NFL in tackles, 139) has the led the team in tackles for four straight gms, T-6th longest streak in Jags history.— Tad Dickman (@Tdickman89) December 18, 2013
"Pos" is second in the NFL in tackles, ahead of such media darlings like Luke Kuechly. Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com has called him the Jags' "most consistent player."
But let's be honest: There is just no way Posluszny is going to take the trip to Honolulu.
For one, playing for Jacksonville means he's not going to get votes from the fans. Pos is simply not noticed.
Secondly, players like Kuechly, Vontaze Burfict, Kiko Alonzo and NaVorro Bowman are all ahead of Posluszny in terms of media recognition and respect.
It's not right—Posluszny has had an absolutely fantastic season. But odds are that this linebacker will be spending Pro Bowl week at home, instead of going through the motions in a game that doesn't matter.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Lost in all the Romo drama in Dallas is the fact that DeMarco Murray has had a terrific season.
The running back has rushed for 1,073 yards on 200 carries, a healthy 5.4 yards per carry. He also has nine touchdowns.
Murray is 10th in rushing yards in the NFL, despite missing two weeks and despite having six weeks with 15 or less carries.
He has blistering speed, which leads to this stat:
Per @ESPNStatsInfo, DeMarco Murray leads NFL in yards/rush before contact (3.87). Dallas OL, led by pups at C and LT, is major strength now.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 19, 2013
It's really a shame that Dallas doesn't give the rock more to Murray, as he's proven time and again that he can carry the load.
Probably not. Unfortunately for Murray, there are just too many talented running backs who not only have had better seasons but have more name recognition.
Murray, it seems, will be spending Pro Bowl week at home.