While just about every Las Vegas Raiders fan is disappointed or mad that the Kansas City Chiefs are headed back to the Super Bowl, that did bring some good news for the Silver and Black. Chiefs’ punter Tommy Townsend was slated to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl, so Raiders’ punter AJ Cole will take Townsend’s spot.
i’m baaaaaaaaaack https://t.co/wwclD0BZ0b— AJ Cole (@AJCole90) January 30, 2023
Cole ranked fourth at the position this year with an average of 48.9 yards per punt and was Pro Football Focus’ second-highest graded (82.4) punter behind Townsend. This will also be the fourth-year pro’s second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. Last year, his sideline interview (video below) was the most entertaining part of the All-Star game, so hopefully, we’ll get a few more instant classic quotes from him again.
AJ Cole’s interview was more entertaining than the Pro Bowl itself. pic.twitter.com/7wXietnf7R #vegas #raiders #RaiderNation #ProBowl2022— Mick Akers (@mickakers) February 6, 2022
Cole also had a great interaction with Las Vegas’ right tackle, Jermaine Eluemunor, on Twitter where the offensive linemen asked what the punter will be doing at the Pro Bowl, which is a fair question seeing as the game will literally be flag football this year. He replied: “Tentative plan is lots of encouragement, high fives, and halftime hot dogs,” so we’re already off to a hot start on the quotes.
With wide receiver Davante Adams, defensive end Maxx Crosby and running back Josh Jacobs already getting selected to the Pro Bowl, the Raiders will have four representatives for the 36th time in franchise history.
The events will start on Thursday, February 2 at 4:00 pm PST with the Skills Show that won’t be open to the public but will be aired live on ESPN. Then, the game will be on Sunday, February 5 at noon PST at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and will also be aired on ESPN. For those interested in attending the latter, tickets are available on TicketMaster.com and are as low as $20 at the time of writing.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Get to know Jaxson Kirkland: the University of Washington offensive lineman has had a good week at the Shrine Bowl and could be a mid-round target for Las Vegas.
- Raiders haven't given Derek Carr permission to seek trade: “My understanding as of right now is the Raiders have not granted Carr’s camp the ability to seek a trade,” per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. “And even though there are the aforementioned teams out there with needs, dealing him before the Feb. 15 deadline...won’t be easy.”
- Franchise tag numbers are in: it will cost Las Vegas a little more than $10 million to tag Jacobs.
- 2023 salary cap set as well: each team will have just under $225 million, up about $16.5 million from last season.