Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr has been robbed. Robbed of being named to the NFL Pro Bowl to be exact.
The NFL’s popularity contest strikes again. This snub of Winfield Jr might be the biggest in a long line of Pro Bowl snubs. Want proof of this? Look no further than Winfield Jr’s stat line compared to that of Budda Baker who was named to the Pro Bowl.
Budda Baker – 77 tkls, 0 INTs, 0 FFs, 0 FRs, 0 sacks in 11 games
Antoine Winfield Jr – 117 tkls, 5 FFs, 4 FRs, 5 sacks, 3 INTs in 16 games
This is laughable to say the least. Baker’s stat-line is dominated by zeros while Winfield Jr’s looks like that of an All Pro. But don’t take our word for it, just ask NFL.com’s Kevin Patra.
“Anyone who’s watched more than one Bucs game surely noticed the playmaker wearing No. 31 flying around the ball, wreaking havoc, and generally destroying offensive game plans,” Kevin Patra of the NFL Network wrote. “So at first perusal of the NFC roster, I was certain I simply missed Winfield’s name. Nope. He’s not on the list.”
“No offense to the three NFC safeties selected — all are good players in their own right — but it’s stunning to me Winfield continues to be overlooked after the masterful season he’s compiled.”
Yes the Pro Bowl is a popularity contest, yes it boils down to just opinions. But don’t overlook how EVERY contract negotiation in the NFL uses the amount of Pro Bowl appearances as part of their evaluation. Then add that Hall of Fame voting also considers amount of Pro Bowls for potential candidates. Simply put, as much as the Pro Bowl has become a joke, it’s still very relevant on the financial side of the business. So yes, Winfield Jr got screwed and Budda Baker got over.