Many players who will be selected during this week's NFL draft are regarded as future Pro Bowl selections, but the game itself likely will be suspended this season and beyond, according to league sources.
The next Pro Bowl is scheduled the week before the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Feb. 3, but a game site has not been listed because of its precarious status, sources added.
Sources say that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has previously voiced his displeasure with the lack of competitiveness in recent Pro Bowl games, is strongly considering suspending this year's game, sources say.
Beyond 2013, another league source believes the Pro Bowl is "DOA (dead on arrival)."
If the game is suspended, the league still would have a Pro Bowl balloting process to identify the season's top players and would direct teams to negotiate Pro Bowl clauses into player contracts and to honor Pro Bowl incentive clauses to avoid any serious conflict with the players association. Those players also likely would be honored in some fashion during Super Bowl week.
Goodell recently has asked players for suggestions to make the game more attractive but has yet to embrace a solution, sources said.
Even those within the league who support continuance of the game have been unable to persuade Goodell that the game has merit alone on reasonably strong television ratings.
However, the diminishing quality of play has weighed more heavily on the commissioner, who believes it reflects poorly on the league and its players. Sources say Goodell does not hold any ill-will toward the players' lackluster effort because of player safety issues.
Goodell said in February that eliminating the game was under consideration. In an appearance on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on Super Bowl Sunday, he said the league must address the quality of the game and even said he would consider eliminating it if it can't be improved upon.
The AFC routed the NFC 59-41 in last season's Pro Bowl, which drew boos at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu for its lack of early intensity.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had said that some of his NFC teammates "embarrassed themselves" with the effort they gave in the game.
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