When the NFL released Pro Bowl rosters this week, LBs Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson were the players selected to represent the Kansas City Chiefs in Hawaii on January 29. Neither player is a starter for the AFC squad.
On the first version of the roster, there are four former Chiefs, including three starters. DEs Jason Babin and Jared Allen are the starters for the NFC defense, while TE Tony Gonzalez was selected as a backup to Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints.
Allen had 43 sacks during his four-year stint in Kansas City before he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings after butting head with former Chiefs GM Carl Peterson.
Babin only played seven games for the Chiefs back in 2008 but was impressive in that time. He had 31 tackles and two sacks before moving on to the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans before returning to the Eagles this season.
Traded before the 2009 season after an amazing 12 years with the Chiefs, Gonzalez has shown in his three years with the Atlanta Falcons that he still has plenty left in the tank. This year the best TE in Kansas City history has caught 79 passes for 867 yards and seven touchdowns, all better than the number he posted last season.
On the AFC side, Brian Waters, released by the Chiefs shortly after the lockout ended, is slated to start at guard. Not a bad way for the 12-year veteran to respond after being pushed aside by Kansas City GM Scott Pioli.
Gonzalez and Waters are both headed to the playoffs and very well could decline their invitations to the game. Even if they make early exits in the postseason, neither is new to the game and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if they allowed a younger alternate to take their place.
As more players drop out, expect to see CBs Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr get their ticket punched for solid efforts this season.