On Tuesday night, the NFL officially announced its Pro Bowl rosters for the game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL on January 28th 2018, the week before the Super Bowl.
Four Patriots were selected as part of the voting process, Quarterback Tom Brady, Fullback James Develin, Tight End Rob Gronkowski and Wide Reciever/Special Teams Matthew Slater were all selected to represent the Patriots. The Patriots have now had at least four players selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the last nine seasons.
Brady’s 13th Pro Bowl selection in 18 seasons continues a team record, including nine consecutive beginning in 2009. He has now passed Guard and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Hannah (1978-85) for most consecutive Pro Bowl selections in franchise history. Brady heads into Week 16 leading the NFL in completions (346) and passing yards (4,163), and he is third in touchdown passes (28).
Per the Patriots offical press release, “Develin has earned his first career Pro Bowl invitation and is the first Patriots fullback to earn a Pro Bowl nod since Sam Cunningham in 1978. An Ivy League defensive lineman standout at Brown, Develin changed positions to fullback and had stints in the Arena Football League and the United Football League before breaking into the NFL with Cincinnati’s practice squad in 2010. He was released by Cincinnati at the end of training camp in 2012 and joined the New England practice squad shortly after and was added to the 53-man roster late in the 2012 season. Since then, Develin has appeared in 63 games with 19 starts at fullback. Though he is utilized mainly on offense as a lead blocker, Develin also plays a role as a core member of the Patriots special teams units.”
Tight End Rob Gronkowski earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection, “he also earned a Pro Bowl invitation following the 2011, 12, 14 and 15 seasons. Gronkowski has started all 12 games he appeared in this season and leads all tight ends in receiving yards (1,017) and yards per reception (15.9). He is coming off a career-high 168-yard receiving performance in the win over Pittsburgh on Sunday. This season, Gronkowski joined Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten as the only tight ends in NFL history with four 1,000-yard seasons. He also moved into the top 10 all-time for receiving yards by a tight end and currently sits ninth with 7,112 career receiving yards.”
Lastly, “Slater earned his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl selection as a special teams player. Slater’s seventh Pro Bowl nod as a special teams player matches Steve Tasker (1987, 90-95) for most special teams Pro Bowl honors in NFL history. The former fifth-round draft pick out of UCLA earned a roster position with the Patriots as a rookie in 2008 with his contributions on special teams. Entering the 2011 season, teammates elected him as their special teams captain. That year, he was also selected to his first Pro Bowl. Since then, he has earned special teams captain honors to start each season and been voted to the Pro Bowl at season’s end. He has led the Patriots in special teams tackles for five of his nine seasons.”
While the selections come as an honor and even money bonuses for some players, because the Pro Bowl will be played the week before the Super Bowl again, should the Patriots make it, none will participate in Orlando.
It is always an honor to be selected to the pro bowl. Congrats to my other teammates and thanks fans!!!
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) December 20, 2017
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: James Develin Matthew Slater Pro Bowl Roster Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady