OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair could be headed to his fourth Pro Bowl. The league has informed the Ravens and McNair that he’s on standby status in case New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady decides to go ahead with his plans to snub the Pro Bowl in favor of playing golf at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am tournament in Monterey, Calif., Feb. 8 through Feb. 11.
Brady is currently listed on the official tournament Web site’s lengthy celebrity roster that includes: actors Kevin Costner, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia and Bill Murray, comedians Kevin James, Ray Romano and George Lopez, musicians Kenny G, Glenn Frey, Huey Lewis, Darius Rucker and Michael Bolton, talk show host Rush Limbaugh and former Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith.
League officials have been unsuccessfully trying to convince Brady to change his mind and attend the Pro Bowl.
If Brady opts to rub elbows and golf clubs with the rich and famous, then McNair is the next quarterback slotted to represent the AFC squad in the Feb. 10 all-star game in Hawaii. He would join teammates Ed Reed, Chris McAlister, Jonathan Ogden, Bart Scott, Ray Lewis, Adalius Thomas and Terrell Suggs.
Lewis has withdrawn from the game due to a hand injury, but is still scheduled to attend. Ogden may not play due to a toe injury, but is planning to attend.
The reserve quarterback spot on the Pro Bowl roster behind the Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Carson Palmer became available when San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was forced to pull out of the game with a sprained foot suffered in a playoff loss against New England.
During his first season in Baltimore, McNair passed for 3,050 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season in leading the Ravens to an AFC North title, an unprecedented 13-3 regular-season mark and the No. 2 seed in the AFC. The former NFL Co-Most Valuable Player threw two critical interceptions in the Ravens’ 15-6 AFC divisional playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland