Four quick thoughts on the Carolina Panthers and the Pro Bowl -- the Panthers got DE Julius Peppers in as a starter and RB DeAngelo Williams in as a reserve on this year's team.
1) I'm not crying a river for LB Jon Beason not making it this season. He's been very consistent and occasionally spectacular, yes, but inside linebacker is pretty loaded in the NFC. You could not only could make a case for Beason as getting snubbed, but just as much if not more so for Washington's London Fletcher (as my friend Clark Judge of CBS Sportsline does here).
2) DeAngelo Williams, a first-time Pro Bowler, deserved to make it, but this should be his second berth in the game, not his first. DeAngelo actually had a better season in 2008, when he became the most egregious Pro Bowl snub I can remember (Clinton Portis got in over DeAngelo, which was ridiculous).
3) If Jonathan Stewart started and Williams was his backup, then Stewart would be celebrating a Pro Bowl spot right now, not his buddy No.34. Stewart, as we've seen in the past two weeks, is just as good when featured in the lead role as Williams (and, in certain situations, even better). In fact, I think right now the Panthers have two of the best 10 backs in the NFL on their roster. Double Trouble, indeed.
4) So Julius Peppers got an additional $1.5 million -- on top of the $1 million per game he's already earning this season -- because he made the Pro Bowl. Geez, that's CEO money, isn't it? Wouldn't you like to just get Peppers' bonus one year -- not his salary, but just his bonus? In any case, that's the way the contract was worded -- not Peppers' fault, although for $1 million a game I would expect a guy to make the Pro Bowl and not pay him extra to do so.
While early in the year I wouldn't have put Peppers on the Pro Bowl team -- he was playing like he didn't want to get hurt or get his uniform dirty back around the time of the Dallas game in late September -- he absolutely deserved this spot. Peppers has had 10.5 sacks and some absolutely monumental games this season (Arizona, Minnesota) and there's no better DE in the NFC except, possibly, Minnesota's Jared Allen.
6 months ago