The NFL announced the players that made the Pro Bowl on Friday evening. Three Arizona Cardinals players made it to the squad, while four other players were named alternates.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson made the Pro Bowl for the third straight year, Justin Bethel made it for special teams and veteran linebacker John Abraham was also named to the team.
As for the alternates, receiver Larry Fitzgerald, defensive linemen Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell and linebacker Daryl Washington were among them, giving the Cardinals representatives on offense, defense and special teams.
One very notable snub is linebacker Karlos Dansby, who has had his best year in the league.
Abraham will be going to the Pro Bowl with his third different team after earning his fifth overall Pro Bowl selection. He previously went three times with the Jets (2001, '02, and '04) and once with the Falcons (2010). It is also his first selection as an outside linebacker after being picked as a defensive end each time previously. The NFL's active leader in sacks and forced fumbles, Abraham signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals on July 25. He leads the Cardinals with 11.5 sacks this season, the most sacks in a season by a linebacker in team history. His 11.5 sacks are tied for fifth in the NFL and tied for third in the NFC. Among linebackers, Abraham ranks first in the NFC in sacks and second in the NFL behind only Robert Mathis (16.5). He also has 50 tackles (28 solos), four forced fumbles, four tackles for loss and 26 QB pressures this season.
His 133.5 career sacks are good for ninth in NFL history. Abraham has had three sacks in a game twice this season, giving him 10 career games of 3.0+ sacks in his career, the third most in NFL history behind only Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor (12) and Reggie White (12). Abraham becomes seventh linebacker in franchise history to be selected for the Pro Bowl and the first Cardinals outside linebacker to be selected since Seth Joyner in 1994.
Bethel was selected for his first Pro Bowl after leading the Cardinals with 18 special teams tackles and two blocked field goals; he also had a fumble recovery in last week's win at Seattle. Due in large part to Bethel's coverage prowess, Cardinals opponents have started 53 drives inside their own 20-yard line in 2013, tied for the second-highest total in the NFL behind only Kansas City (54).
He becomes just the third Cardinal ever to be selected as the Pro Bowl's special teams player joining Sean Morey (2008) and current Cardinals radio analyst Ron Wolfley, who made the Pro Bowl four times (1986-89). Bethel is also the first ever player selected to the Pro Bowl from Presbyterian College, the school from which the Cardinals drafted him in the sixth round of the 2012 Draft.
This is the third consecutive selection for Peterson who was named to the Pro Bowl last year as a cornerback after being selected a kick returner as a rookie in 2011. He becomes just the seventh player in NFL history to be chosen to three Pro Bowls before his 24th birthday (Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Randy Moss, Shawne Merriman, Maurkice Pouncey) and is the second Cardinals player (Ollie Matson) ever to be selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three NFL seasons. Last year, Peterson joined Hall of Famer Rod Woodson as the only two players ever selected to the Pro Bowl as both a defender and kick returner.
The team's first-round pick in the 2011 Draft, Peterson leads the Cardinals with 28 passes defensed to go along with three interceptions and 38 tackles (36 solos). His 12 interceptions over the past three seasons are tied for the third most in the NFL over that span. Peterson becomes the first Cardinals cornerback since Aeneas Williams (1994-99) to be selected to the Pro Bowl in consecutive years.
The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 26 and will be televised live on NBC at 5:00 PM MST from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
For the first time ever, the Pro Bowl will be "unconferenced." Instead of the AFC vs. NFC matchup that has been the format since 1971, players were selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players. Players will be assigned to teams during the first-ever Pro Bowl Draft on NFL Network on Wednesday, January 22 at 6:00 PM MST.
SB Nation has your Pro Bowl coverage covered, including rosters for each conference here.