Following an embarrassing game last February in which several players complained about a lack of effort, the NFL may opt to suspend the Pro Bowl this coming season, league sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
According to Mortensen’s report, players would still be chosen as elite players from their respective conferences and earn contract incentives for reaching the Pro Bowl, but no game in Hawaii would be played.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello released a statement on the issue Thursday morning, writing on his Twitter account, “Re reports on Pro Bowl, we have been in discussions with the NFLPA about Pro Bowl's future. No decision has been made on this season's game.”
Last year, the AFC defeated the NFC 59-41 in a game most remembered for the criticism that followed it by players and fans who were disappointed at how little the all-stars on both teams tried. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who played in the game, said that some of his NFC teammates "embarrassed themselves" with their play.
Mortensen reports that commissioner Roger Goodell believes the lackluster Pro Bowl game reflects poorly on the league. However, Goodell does not blame the players for their minimal effort given the safety issues surrounding a meaningless game.