It turns out the New York Jets will be sending players to the Pro Bowl after all. After failing to have a single player named to the original roster, center Nick Mangold and cornerback Antonio Cromartie were added to the team yesterday. Mangold will replace Seattle Seahawks center Max Unger, who obviously will be playing in the Super Bowl. Cromartie was brought in as an injury replacement for New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, who suffered a knee injury in the AFC Championship.
Mangold narrowly missed making the Pro Bowl originally, but he had a slightly down year by his own lofty standards and the other centers who made the team were certainly worthy. However, Mangold is still considered one of the elite centers in the NFL by most, and no will complain about him making his fifth Pro Bowl appearance.
Cromartie, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. Cromartie was an extremely deserving Pro Bowl selection last season, but his performance suffered a major drop off this year. Cromartie himself stated that he had “one of the worst seasons of my career” this year. There is no way that Cromartie is deserving of his third trip to the Pro Bowl, and his presence is more evidence to the fact that the voting process simply doesn’t work. Cromartie got so many votes because he is a big name and many voting fans simply don’t follow the NFL closely enough to know who is having a good year at positions that aren’t involved in fantasy football.
It is unfortunate that a more deserving player wasn’t given Cromartie’s spot, but the Jets will surely be pleased that two of their players made the team, saving them the embarrassment of not having anyone in Honolulu. Ironically, Muhammad Wilkerson remains the Jets’ best player and most deserving Pro Bowl candidate, but he will not playing in the game. His absence and the presence of Cromartie just goes to show that the Pro Bowl process still needs a lot of fixing.