The Seahawks tied a franchise-record with seven players selected for this season’s Pro Bowl.
Inexplicably, none are named Doug Baldwin or Cliff Avril.
The league announced Tuesday that defensive end Michael Bennett, safety Kam Chancellor, rookie kick returner Tyler Lockett, cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas, linebacker Bobby Wagner and quarterback Russell Wilson made the team for the NFL’s annual all-star game.
Seattle, the defending two-time NFC champion that is 9-5 and in the playoffs again this season, has five Pro Bowl alternates, including Baldwin and Avril, who should be on the actual team. The other alternates are kicker Steven Hauschka, injured running back Marshawn Lynch and left tackle Russell Okung.
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Baldwin is tied for the NFL lead with 13 touchdown catches. He has 10 in the past four games, joining Hall of Famer Jerry Rice as the only players to accomplish the feat. Baldwin has tied the Seahawks record for TD receptions in a season set by Daryl Turner in 1985.
Avril may be as big a snub. He has been the most consistently disruptive and unblockable Seahawks defender this season.
Defensive-end partner Bennett has the sack numbers — a career-high 9 1/2 that is third in the NFC and proof of how good he’s been. Avril has blown up third-down plays in almost every game this season. He’s chased and hit quarterbacks, knocked down passes, flown past blockers and crunched ball carriers at the line of scrimmage. Avril almost single-handedly kept the defense afloat during the Seahawks’ 2-4 and 4-5 starts to this season. Plus, he has 7 1/2 sacks.
The Pro Bowl roster is selected by votes of players, coaches and fans; Seahawks players voted last week. Each group represents an equal one-third of the total balloting.
There are no longer conference teams for the Pro Bowl. Players are drafted Jan. 27 onto one of the two teams that will play in the game that week.
The Pro Bowl is in Honolulu on Jan. 31 — and given a choice, I’m sure the chosen Seahawks would much rather be taking that day off to prepare for the Super Bowl the following week. Pro Bowl players participating in the Super Bowl don’t play or go to Hawaii for the all-star game.