More than a year after he co-led the NFL in touchdown catches, Doug Baldwin is finally in the Pro Bowl.
The Seahawks and league announced Monday that Seattle’s No. 1 wide receiver will play in Sunday’s all-star game. It’s the first selection for Baldwin, whom the Seahawks signed as an undrafted free agent from Stanford in 2011.
He set the team record with 14 touchdown catches in the 2015 season, then this past season tied Bobby Engram’s franchise record with 94 receptions. Last summer the Seahawks gave him a $46 million contract extension, making him the league’s seventh-highest paid wide receiver. Then in the 2016 season Baldwin joined Steve Largent, Darrell Jackson, Joey Galloway and Brian Blades as the only Seahawks with consecutive years of 1,000 yards receiving.
Baldwin replaces Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, who declined to play in this year’s Pro Bowl because of injury.
Baldwin, plus fellow alternates Jimmy Graham and K.J. Wright getting selected to play last week, gives Seattle a team record-tying seven players in the Pro Bowl. That’s the third consecutive season the Seahawks have had seven. They also had that many in the 2005 and 1984 seasons.
Defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, cornerback Richard Sherman and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner are also playing in this weekend’s Pro Bowl.
Avril and Wright join Baldwin as first-time Pro Bowl players.
Sunday’s 5 p.m game (ESPN) is in Orlando, Florida, for the first time, in the same state where Baldwin grew up (Gulf Breeze). This year the Pro Bowl is back to its AFC-versus-NFC format, after three years of mixed teams picked by legendary captains.