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NFL considering elimination of annual Pro Bowl game

NFL considering elimination of annual Pro Bowl game
The NFL's yearly Pro Bowl game has declined in recent years because of players backing out and the lack of competition due to injury concerns. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- NFL owners and league officials are discussing the future of the annual Pro Bowl game at this week's league meetings.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed Tuesday that the league has talked with players and teams and is now exploring alternatives to the Pro Bowl and its week of events, which could include the elimination of the traditional tackle game.

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No vote is required to approve a change. The NFL, in conjunction with players and television partners, hopes to find a solution this summer.

Goodell said the NFL will consider transforming the Pro Bowl into a celebration of players rather than competing in an actual game. According to NFL Media, a flag football game is another possible alternative.

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"I think the conclusion [of discussions] was that the game itself doesn't work," Goodell told reporters. "And we need to find another way to celebrate our players."

The NFL's yearly Pro Bowl game has declined in recent years because of players backing out and the lack of competition due to injury concerns.

Goodell said the league concluded the Pro Bowl game was an ineffective option after speaking with the NFL Players Association. The commissioner also talked personally to several players.

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"[The goal is] to celebrate that these are our Pro Bowl players, the best players in our league, and give them an opportunity to celebrate that with our fans," Goodell said. "We've talked about some of the events around the Pro Bowl are really, extremely popular, whether the quarterback challenge or some of the other events.

"So those are some of the things we will continue to discuss."

The NFL has staged the Pro Bowl game in some fashion since 1938. Many festivities surround the all-star event, including dodgeball and other skills competitions.

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