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When was the last year the Broncos didn't have a Pro Bowler, and how does that compare to other team's streaks of sending players?
-- Erik Wassell
The last season without a Broncos Pro Bowler was 1980, when the team finished 8-8 in what proved to be Ring of Famer Red Miller's final season as head coach. That same year, the Miami Dolphins finished with that same .500 mark and also failed to send a player to the Pro Bowl. Both clubs now share league-leading streaks of 38 seasons with at least one Pro Bowler.
The No. 3 team is Dallas, with a 29-year streak dating back to the 1990 season; behind the Cowboys sits Washington, with a 25-season streak that offensive tackle Trent Williams and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan extended this year.
Only one team has produced at least one Pro Bowler in each season of its existence -- the Baltimore Ravens. Since that franchise is considered to have begun anew in 1996 after its relocation from Cleveland, it has produced a Pro Bowler in each of its 23 campaigns.
Seventeen of the league's 32 teams have failed to produce a Pro Bowler at least once in the last 10 seasons, starting with Kansas City and Detroit, neither of which had a Pro Bowl player in the 2009 season.
I am just curious if Phillip Lindsay will receive any kind of bonus for making the Pro Bowl.
-- Scott LaVoie
I don't know if he has any contract bonuses for the Pro Bowl. If the AFC wins, he will receive $67,000, as will all players on the AFC team. If the AFC loses, he will receive $34,000. But the biggest bonus he will receive will likely be from the NFL's performance-based bonus program, which gives bonus to players based on their salary and playing time.
Last year, the NFL leader in performance bonus was Tennessee's Quinton Spain, who received a bonus of $489,782. You can expect most of the Broncos' players in their first four seasons to receive some form of bonus for their contributions this season.
Since Pro Bowl selections are important for player resumes for honors like the Hall of Fame or All-Decade Teams (not to mention, contract bonuses), what are the chances for adjusting the voting process? Maybe assigning 20 percent value to the fan votes, 20 percent to the players' votes, 20 percent to the coaches' votes and 40% to an NFL partner like Pro Football Focus?
-- Jose Borrero
Don't count on it. For one thing, that is too much weight to give to Pro Football Focus, which is a useful tool for taking a deeper dive inside player performance and production, but is not the be-all, end-all of player evaluation.
One solution that could help is by expanding the rosters. Under the current rules, the AFC and NFC each have 43 players on their roster -- 42 announced this week (before alternates), and one added as a "need player" by the choice of the team's head coach. Why not have the roster be at least 46 players -- to mimic a game-day active roster -- if not 53 players?
There are not perfect solutions, but they would help get a few more snubbed players into the game, allowing them to get extra recognition -- and financial reward to go with it.