New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Friday secured the most Pro Bowl invitations in franchise history.
Brees will replace Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger — who is dropping out of the NFL’s all-star game for an undisclosed reason — and Brees tied for the NFL lead in passing yards (4,952) in 2014, when the Saints finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
This will be Brees’ ninth career Pro Bowl and eighth with the Saints since he joined them in 2006.
Brees (456-of-659 for 33 touchdowns this season) did not make the first cut after several of the 17 interceptions he has thrown this year factored largely in the nine defeats New Orleans has suffered in this campaign.
However, despite that, it seemed a matter of time before Brees captures the franchise record for Pro Bowl berths, whether as an alternate or on future merits.
The MVP of the Saints’ sole Super Bowl victory and the owner of all the team’s major passing records had been to the NFL’s all-star game in each of the past six seasons. And Brees fell just short of his fourth-straight (and fifth overall) campaign in passing for 5,000 or more yards. Brees remains the only player in NFL history to have more than one such season.
Initially, Saints guard Jahri Evans and tight end Jimmy Graham were invited to the Pro Bowl in December. Evans dropped out after surgery to correct a minor injury, but Graham is still in.