Two Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receivers – MICHAEL IRVIN and JERRY RICE – will serve as NFL Legends captains for the 2016 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced today. Irvin and Rice return for the second time after being the winning captains during the previous two Pro Bowls.
The 2016 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 31, 2016 and televised live on ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Last season, Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver CRIS CARTER joined Irvin as a captain, with Team Irvin defeating Team Carter 32-28 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona. Rice and Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback DEION SANDERS served as captains during the 2014 Pro Bowl, with Team Rice defeating Team Sanders 22-21 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Continuing the revised Pro Bowl format that debuted with the 2014 Pro Bowl, Irvin and Rice will have final say over Pro Bowl Draft decisions. Each legend will also be assisted in the Draft process by defensive Legend co-captains, two active player captains and one NFL.com fantasy football champion. The Pro Bowl will remain “unconferenced,” with several key playing rules changed. Players will be selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players and later assigned to Pro Bowl teams via a fantasy football-style draft.
The 2016 Pro Bowl Draft will be held on January 27 and broadcast in primetime.
A member of the 2007 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, Irvin was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII and XXX) during his 12-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. Irvin still ranks as the Cowboys’ all-time leader in receiving yards (11,904).
“Being a Pro Bowl captain was a great experience last season,” says Irvin, who currently serves as an analyst for NFL Network. “The new format brought a fresh excitement to the Pro Bowl Draft and game. I can’t wait to see which players get voted to the Pro Bowl this season.”
A 13-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time Super Bowl champion (XXIII, XXIV and XXIX), Rice was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. Rice, who was a standout wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks, is the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and touchdowns (208 total; 197 receiving, 10 rushing and one return-touchdown).
“Playing in the Pro Bowl was always exciting for me,” says Rice. “The players really seemed to be excited about the new rules and the Pro Bowl Draft format the past two years. I’m excited to be a part of it again this season.”
Tickets for the 2016 Pro Bowl will be available this fall. Fans can register to receive notifications regarding ticket presale opportunities on www.nfl.com/probowl.