Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril is headed to his first Pro Bowl, where he will join teammates Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner and Michael Bennett.
The Seahawks lobbied and campaigned for veteran defensive end Cliff Avril to make his first Pro Bowl in this his ninth season in the NFL, and apparently those efforts worked.
Avril was among four Seahawks selected to the 2017 Pro Bowl on Tuesday. Joining Avril were cornerback Richard Sherman, defensive lineman Michael Bennett and linebacker Bobby Wagner. This is the fewest Pro Bowl selections the Seahawks have had since 2011.
Avril is having the best season of his nine-year career. He has a career-high 11.5 sacks this season and has been Seattle’s most consistent and disruptive pass rusher.
This is Sherman’s fourth Pro Bowl selection, Wagner’s third and Bennett’s second.
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Sherman has four interceptions this season; Wagner leads the NFL with 145 tackles and needs just eight tackles to tie Terry Beeson’s team record set in 1978; Bennett has continued to be versatile and disruptive from multiple positions along the line when healthy.
The Seahawks also have eight Pro Bowl alternates who could be added to the roster later: receiver Doug Baldwin, center Justin Britt, safety Kam Chancellor, tight end Jimmy Graham, kicker Steven Hauschka, returner Tyler Lockett, quarterback Russell Wilson and tight end K.J. Wright.
The notable “snubs” for the Seahawks are Wright and Baldwin. Wright is having the best season of his career, according to coach Pete Carroll. He is on pace for a career high in tackles and already has a career high with three sacks and one of his greatest assets is his coverage ability.
Baldwin has a career-high 79 catches this season and needs 157 yards in Seattle’s final two games to establish a new career high for receiving yards. He also has six touchdown catches.
The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 29 in Orlando.