The New York Jets have their largest contingent of Pro Bowl players in the last four years with the NFL's announcement tonight that CB Darrelle Revis, DE Muhammad Wilkerson and WR Brandon Marshall have been named to the 2016 Pro Bowl roster.
In addition, RB Chris Ivory and C Nick Mangold are first alternates and would be in line to play in this year's All-Star game at Aloha Stadium in Hawai'i on Sunday, Jan. 31, if a player at either position drops out due to injury or is playing in the Super Bowl.
"It's always an honor making the Pro Bowl," Revis said today. "I couldn't without a lot of people that helped along the way. I want to give my congratulations to my teammates, Brandon, Mo, Nick and Chris. I just want to thank those guys for this year and what we've accomplished as a team. It's an individual achievement, but at the same time, we have team goals as well that we want to accomplish."
DL Muhammad Wilkerson, CB Darrelle Revis & WR Brandon Marshall Voted to Annual All-Star Game. RB Chris Ivory and C Nick Mangold Are First Alternates
For Revis, this is his seventh Pro Bowl and his fifth representing the Jets. His first four came in his first tour of duty with the Green & White, following the 2008, '09, '10 and '11 seasons.
For Wilkerson, on the other hand, it is his first such honor after reaching first alternate in 2013 and third alternate last season.
"I'm happy I made it," said Wilkerson, who has a career-high 12 sacks with two games to play. "I wouldn't have been able to make it if it wasn't for my teammates, who are out there doing their job with me, and the coaches that prepare me for these different games each and every week and put me in a position to make plays and help out the team."
Both Revis (2007) and Wilkerson (2011) were Jets first-round draft choices. Marshall was a fourth-round pick by Denver in 2006 and had divided up five Pro Bowl berths with the Broncos, Dolphins and Bears before coming to the Jets in a March trade. He's also honored to be going to this year's game, his sixth such recognition.
"I think this is the most special one because it's really a testament to the success of everyone on offense," said Marshall, who needs one catch to set the Jets' single-season receptions record and seven to set an NFL record with his sixth 100-catch season.
"Something I learned early on in high school is if you want to be a successful wide receiver, you have to have a guy on the other side that is also successful. Deck [Eric Decker]'s done a great job this year. Like I said all year, our offense starts with our running game. So Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, those guys have done an amazing job. And our offensive line, I'm just so thankful for them, and also the fans who voted me in. And obviously FitzMagic [QB Ryan Fitzpatrick]. I wouldn't have been here if it wasn't for FitzMagic."
This year's alternates also display variety similar to the three Jets named tonight on NFL Network. Mangold, a Jets first-rounder in 2004, has played in six previous Pro Bowls. Ivory, an undrafted free agent who broke in with the Saints in 2010 before come to the Jets in a 2013 trade and is 49 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard rushing season, has yet to play in a Pro Bowl.
The 2016 Pro Bowl will continue using the revised game format that debuted with the 2014 game, with NFL Legends captains having final say over Pro Bowl Draft decisions. The Pro Bowl will remain "unconferenced," with several key playing rules changed. Players will be selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players and later assigned to Pro Bowl teams via a fantasy-football-style draft.
Four leading vote getters — two offensive and two defensive player captains — will be joined by two NFL.com fantasy football champions to draft players. Two Pro Football Hall of Famers, wide receivers Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin, will serve as NFL Legends captains for this year's game.
The Pro Bowl players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group's vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Stars who will be eligible for the Pro Bowl Draft.