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Pro Bowl gets makeover, will feature a player draft

Looking to shake up the Pro Bowl in January, the NFL announced significant changes to how the rosters are formulated, giving Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders unprecedented power in choosing teams.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, starting in 2014 a draft will be conducted to pick the rosters for each team. This suggests that there will no longer be an "AFC versus NFC" format, but presumably evenly matched teams following a draft conducted by two team captains. The team captains for the 2014 Pro Bowl have been announced as Hall of Fame players Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders.

All-Star games are typically a tough sell to fans who usually only want to see athletes go 100-percent in games, but the NFL Pro Bowl especially draws criticism in a sport where it can be so easy to get hurt on any play. Oftentimes this means a lack of defense during the Pro Bowl. Though the ratings for the Pro Bowl are far from bad, the league has made several changes to spark new interest in the game. However those changes became a complete overhaul with Wednesday's announcement.

The sweeping changes include a renovation of the rosters that will allow team captains to select the squads regardless of conference affiliation. In addition, the NFL also announced that there will be no kickoffs and shorter play clock. Rosters will be comprised of 43 players per team and will be coached by the staffs of the losing team from each conference's divisional playoff with the best regular-season record.

The Pro Bowl Draft is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 22, and the game will be played on the following Sunday, Jan. 26, in Aloha, Hawaii, televised on NBC.

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