ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Pro Bowl attracts its share of detractors, some of the criticism tied to a controversial selection process or the game’s overall relative lack of meaning.
Three Raiders offensive linemen who were selected Tuesday won’t complain about their selections.
They meant plenty.
Defensive end Khalil Mack joined center Rodney Hudson, left guard Kelechi Osemele and left tackle Donald Penn as having been named to the NFL’s annual showcase game. All but Mack, who is still playing under his rookie contract, received a six-figure bonus for the nod.
Osemele activated a $300,000 Pro Bowl contract incentive, a source said. Penn received $250,000 and Hudson notched $100,000.
To collect, each must attend the game unless medically cleared to skip it. Penn is sure to receive such clearance. He’s scheduled for season-ending surgery on Wednesday, coach Jack Del Rio said this week, for a foot injury he sustained during last Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Raiders (6-8) were awarded six alternates, too.
Punter Marquette King, quarterback Derek Carr, right guard Gabe Jackson, running back Marshawn Lynch, kickoff returner Cordarrelle Patterson and linebacker NaVorro Bowman all received that accolade. Of them, King arguably was the biggest surprise to be a mere alternate, given he easily led NFL punters with 156,548 votes in the fan ballot.
Fans, coaches and players each count for one-third of the selection process.
Alternates can be elevated to the Pro Bowl roster if a player backs out. This scenario often occurs for medical reasons, personal reasons or when a player’s team qualifies for the Super Bowl. Contract bonuses are reserved, however, for players who receive an initial selection. Lynch, for example, cannot collect the $250,000 bonus in his deal if he attends the Jan. 28 game in Orlando as an alternate.
The Raiders had seven Pro Bowl selections last season. Carr, wide receiver Amari Cooper and safety Reggie Nelson joined the four who were voted this year.
Possible start for Sharpe
A slimmer David Sharpe has a big opportunity this week.
The Raiders offensive tackle and rookie fourth-round pick could start Monday evening for Penn against the Philadelphia Eagles. Sharpe said Tuesday that he’s been told the upcoming practice week will dictate whether he’ll be assigned the opportunity.
Sharpe has appeared in three offensive snaps this season.
Those came during a rough debut on Dec. 3 against the New York Giants.
Despite a first performance in which his emotions admittedly overtook his technique, he has impressed the coaching staff with his development in recent months. That includes physically as much as mentally. Sharpe weighed 357 pounds at the start of training camp, according to the team roster. He said that he’s about 340 now.
“I’m very excited,” Sharpe said. “Definitely going to try to earn it this week.”
— The Raiders give certain players, most often Mack and outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, what Del Rio calls a “Woodson Wednesday,” allowing them to skip a Wednesday practice. The whole roster has one this week. Players still must report to the facility for strength and conditioning, but the Raiders will practice from Thursday to Saturday instead of Wednesday to Friday with a Monday game.
— Former Washington Redskins safety Stefan McClure joined the Raiders’ practice squad on Tuesday. He assumed the spot of cornerback Breon Borders, who was signed Saturday to the Buffalo Bills’ 53-man roster. McClure and kicker Giorgio Tavecchio were college teammates at California.
Raiders Pro Bowl bonuses
LG Kelechi Osemele $300K
LT Donald Penn $250K
C Rodney Hudson $100K
*DE Khalil Mack is still under his rookie contract with no bonus attached.