Friday, December 27, 2013
Pro Bowl selections: Cleveland Browns
By Pat McManamon
Alex Mack's bargaining position just improved, in free agency and with the Browns.
Mack was selected to his second Pro Bowl as results of voting were announced Friday by the NFL.
He will be joined in Hawaii by left tackle Joe Thomas, who is going for the seventh time in seven years, wide receiver Josh Gordon (first), tight end Jordan Cameron (first) and cornerback Joe Haden (first).
In a quirk of NFL nature, the Browns have more Pro Bowl selections than wins.
Thomas’ selection continues a streak of excellence that started when he was drafted. He and Jim Brown are the only two players in team history to reach the Pro Bowl in each of their first seven seasons. He also is the tenth in NFL history to do that, with the previous nine all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Mack will be a free agent after the season, and since he joined the Browns the team has gone 23-56. He said he’d be open to staying, but Pro Bowl centers don’t often get a chance to maximize their earnings, and pick where they want to play.
Haden, too, improved his bargaining position with the selection. His contract is up after 2014, and if the Browns want to keep him they’ll probably have to give him an extension prior to next season.
With Haden and Gordon both possible candidates for new deals prior to 2014, the Browns may be happy they saved so much salary-cap space for the future.
Regarding the Browns' selections:
- The selection of Mack and Thomas for the second time together (2010) marks the first time a pair of offensive linemen made multiple Pro Bowls since Gene Hickerson and Dick Schafrath did it from 1966-69.
- Cameron joins Milt Morin, Ozzie Newsome and Kellen Winslow as the only tight ends to make the team.
- Gordon, Braylon Edwards and Webster Slaughter are the only receivers to make the team. Gordon has a very good chance to lead the NFL in receiving yards and yards per catch.
- Haden is the first cornerback to go since Frank Minnifield in 1990.
The Browns really have no major snubs in the game, as everyone who had a solid season made the team. About the only player who could have made it but didn’t was safety T.J. Ward. He was selected as an alternate. Ward also could be a free agent after the season.
The five selected are the most for the Browns since they had seven in 2007.
Click here for the complete Pro Bowl roster.