Manning, Freeney, Mawae are All-Decade

Looking to get all the attention it can for a game now featuring seven percent of the NFL’s player population – and that’s not counting injured guys who passed or guys who could just declined -- the league announced Wednesday that the rosters include a dozen members of the All-Decade team.

Those 12 include Titans center Kevin Mawae, who’s in the game only because Jeff Saturday has a Super Bowl commitment. The league also said Peyton Manning and Dwight Freeney, who will appear at the game with Saturday and other Colts and Saints Pro Bowlers, are on the team.

The non Pro-Bowl members of the roster will be announced during the telecast of the game.

From the league:

"The NFL All-Decade teams are chosen every 10 years by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee members. The 2000s will mark the ninth All-Decade team to be selected in NFL history."

"This decade’s 53-player team will be comprised of two quarterbacks, four running backs, one fullback, four wide receivers, two tight ends, four offensive tackles, four guards, two centers, four defensive tackles, four defensive ends, six linebackers, four cornerbacks, four safeties, two kickers, two punters, two kick returners and two punt returners. Two head coaches have also been chosen."

I like the All-Decade concept, but feel compelled to mention how a guy who might have had a great career from 1996-2004 is likely to lose out to an equal who happened to land on the calendar in a more fortunate way.

The current Pro Bowl roster lists 118 players, though the league sent out a release this week still touting the original 86 players. That release was titled “A Pro Bowl Like No Other.”

Officials got that part right.