Football is the ultimate team sport, but a little solo recognition every now and then never hurt anybody. The Pro Bowl affords players the opportunity to revel in their season’s accomplishments alongside the best and baddest stars across the NFL.
While players would much rather be ringing in a conference championship and preparing for Super Bowl Sunday, putting on that Pro Bowl jersey is more than just a consolation prize — it’s a validation of hard work and, eventually, ammunition for a Hall of Fame resume.
Of course, getting there year in and year out is no small feat. It’s to no surprise that a list of ‘most Pro Bowl appearances all time’ appears to be a who’s who of players who already are (or will soon be) in Canton, Ohio.
Tom Brady‘s 14 Pro Bowl appearances are tied for the most in NFL history with Tony Gonzalez, Peyton Manning, Bruce Matthews and Merlin Olsen. Brady equaled the mark in 2018 with his 10th consecutive nod, but won’t participate for the third straight Pro Bowl as his New England Patriots prepare for Super Bowl LIII.
Who else tops the list of the most NFL Pro Bowl appearances of all-time?
If Brady returns for his 22nd season in 2019 and surprises nobody by making another Pro Bowl, he’ll pull away from some of the game’s greatest players – along with taking yet another record away from long-time rival Peyton Manning.
However, Brady isn’t the only quarterback who could end up atop the list of most Pro Bowl appearances by the time they hang up the cleats. Drew Brees reached his 12th Pro Bowl amid another spectacular season with the New Orleans Saints, and the 40-year-old isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Brees still needs one more to catch up to a duo of legends from the past era – Jerry Rice and Reggie White, who each finished with 13 Pro Bowl nods. Both are undeniable all-time greats who revolutionized their respective positions throughout their careers.
The legends don’t stop there, as Champ Bailey‘s 12 Pro Bowls mark the most among cornerbacks in NFL history. Late icon Junior Seau also racked up 12 Pro Bowls to tie Ray Lewis for the most among linebackers, along with Ken Houston, Randall McDaniel, Jim Otto and Will Shields.
A total of 13 players have made 11 Pro Bowls with Brett Favre and Jason Witten among them, but Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald tied them with his nod in 2018 and could notch another after announcing his return for a 16th season in 2019. The sure-handed wideout needs two more Pro Bowl inclusions to tie Rice for the most among receivers as he pads a Canton-worthy resume.
No active players round out the list of double-digit Pro Bowl nods, but a total of 11 former warriors finished with 10 to their name, including Barry Sanders, Lawrence Taylor, Johnny Unitas, “Mean” Joe Greene and recently retired Browns tackle Joe Thomas.
Today, the league is filled to the brim with undeniable stars who assert their dominance year after year. It’s to no surprise that the likes of Antonio Brown, AJ Green, Aaron Rodgers and Von Miller each have seven Pro Bowls to their name as they’re still well within their primes.
But as the list shows, reaching the top when it comes to most Pro Bowl appearances all-time will be quite the feat for any active player. Even the likes of Brady, Brees and Fitzgerald are seeing their careers wind down and won’t be making Pro Bowls forever.
It’s safe to say, then, that dissecting this list of most made Pro Bowls is as good of a method of judging the NFL’s best individual all-time players as any metric that exists in pro football.
Most Pro Bowl Appearances All Time
14: Tom Brady*, Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Merlin Olsen, Bruce Matthews
13: Jerry Rice, Reggie White
12: Champ Bailey, Ray Lewis, Drew Brees*, Ken Houston, Randall McDaniel, Jim Otto, Junior Seau, Will Shields
11: Larry Allen, Derrick Brooks, Brett Favre, Larry Fitzgerald*, Bob Lilly, Tom Mack, Gino Marchetti, Anthony Munoz, Jonathan Ogden, Willie Roaf, Bruce Smith, Jason Witten, Rod Woodson
10: Joe Greene, Ronnie Lott, Leo Nomellini, Mel Renfro, Jim Ringo, Barry Sanders, Joe Schmidt, Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, Joe Thomas, Johnny Unitas
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