While going through the AFC and NFC rosters for the biggest snubs, I kept one thing in mind: You only can say a player was snubbed if you can take someone at the same position off the roster.
Here are 13 guys who will be left home next month and whom I believe should have made the rosters.
Was this punishment for Sherman's potential suspension or just a grievous oversight? Sherman was eligible to make the NFC team, but voters must have taken his reported positive drug test into consideration.
Most seasons, Sherman would be a candidate for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. It's an absolute joke that Patrick Peterson made the NFC team over Sherman. Peterson is a very talented cornerback and improved this season for the Arizona Cardinals, but his play was too up and down. We'd also put Antoine Winfield on the team over Tim Jennings or Peterson, although Jennings was plenty worthy.
The fact that Green Bay Packers center Jeff Saturday made the NFC team proves there's still work left to do with the voting process. Saturday wasn't one of the best 10 centers in the NFC and was just benched by coach Mike McCarthy. A number of NFC centers could have made the team over him, including Sullivan and Jonathan Goodwin.
Mike was the better Pouncey this year in the AFC. His twin brother, Maurkice, just has the reputation.
NFC wide receiver was a very deep position. Dez Bryant and Marques Colston also had strong cases and didn't make the team. We'd swap out White for his Atlanta Falcons teammate, Julio Jones; White was far more consistent. Jackson ultimately was a more dangerous deep threat than Victor Cruz, who was a little up and down for the New York Giants during the season.
The entire AFC safety group was botched. Ed Reed made it on reputation. LaRon Landry and Eric Berry made it partially because they have notable names and partially because the NFL insists we split free safeties and strong safeties in the voting. The game isn't played that way anymore, and the voting rules don't make sense.
Call it the Buffalo effect -- these guys just don't get a lot of publicty. Levitre deserved to make it over Houston Texans guard Wade Smith. Williams plays at a strong position in the AFC, but he had a better season than Haloti Ngata. The Baltimore Ravens nose tackle appears to be playing hurt and hasn't been a huge factor for much of the season.
It's really hard to say Navarro Bowman didn't deserve to make the NFC team. Bowman did, just not as much as Washington. I don't mind knocking the 49ers a little for their run defense, which gives Washington a slight edge over Bowman.
Guys stuck at deep positions
I couldn't say the following guys were snubbed because the players who made the team at their positions deserved it. But, man, it's tough to leave them off:
Bills running back C.J. Spiller was the best per-play backfield threat in the league. He just wasn't a volume runner like Ray Rice or Arian Foster. ... I'd vote for Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger over Matt Schaub at quarterback in the AFC, but there wasn't a huge gap there. ... The New Orleans Saints ask Brees to do a lot more than the Washington Redskins ask RG3. It's a tough comparison. ... NFC rookie running backs Doug Martin and Alfred Morris were awesome this season, but they are stuck in the NFC behind three outstanding players. ... Jimmy Graham is stuck behind two legends at tight end.
Matt Kalil, Andrew Whitworth and Josh Sitton all are members of the "underappreciated offensive linemen" club. Sitton probably deserved the nod over Chris Snee. ... Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece was outstanding. Just not as outstanding as Vonta Leach was for the Ravens. ... It sounds weird to say, but Ndamukong Suh might be underrated. He was absolutely dominant in the second half. ... Both Falcons safeties, Thomas DeCoud and William Moore, deserved consideration. ... Lance Briggs and Lavonte David are great outside linebackers, but it's tough to argue with Clay Matthews, Aldon Smith and DeMarcus Ware making the team.