That’s right, the rest of the league seems to have finally realized that Earl Thomas is pretty great. He’ll be headed to Hawaii as the starting free safety for the NFC team, and according to John Boyle of the Everett Herald he may not be the only Seahawk in attendance:
First Alternates: CB Brandon Browner, SS Kam Chancellor, FB Michael Robinson
Second Alternate: RB Marshawn Lynch
Third Alternate: P Jon Ryan
Alternates are only invited to the Pro Bowl if a player who was named ahead of them declines to accept their invitation for whatever reason, the main two reasons being that they’re too injured or too busy getting ready to play in the Super Bowl to attend. For instance, if Green Bay were to play in the Super Bowl this year, CB Charles Woodson and FB John Kuhn would bow out and Browner and Robinson would take their places. Chancellor’s chances of attending depend entirely on the status of Cardinals SS Adrian Wilson, Lynch would need two of the NFC’s three running backs (LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, and Frank Gore) to decline the invite, and something catastrophic would have to happen to a whole lot of other punters for Ryan to get the nod. (The full list of Pro Bowl invitees for both conferences can be found here.)
But regardless of how many Seahawks eventually suit up in Honolulu, Thomas’ invitation marks the first time since 2008 that a Seattle player has been named to the Pro Bowl (T Walter Jones and LB Julian Peterson both went that year). The way this team has steadily improved under Pete Carroll, I expect to see a lot more Hawks wearing leis in the years to come.