FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Seven members of the New England Patriots have been selected to the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl. Quarterback Tom Brady, CB Malcolm Butler, LB Jamie Collins, K Stephen Gostkowski, TE Rob Gronkowski, DE Chandler Jones and WR Matthew Slater (special teams) have been selected to represent the New England Patriots in the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl on Sun., Jan. 31, 2016, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Patriots have now had at least five players selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the last seven seasons - (2009-5, 2010-8, 2011-8, 2012-7, 2013-5, 2014-7 and 2015-7).
Brady was named to the Pro Bowl for a franchise record 11th time in his 16-year career and this is Brady's seventh consecutive selection to the all-star game. He was voted to the Pro Bowl after each of the following seasons: 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and now, 2015. Brady heads into this week with an NFL-leading 4,405 yards and 35 touchdown passes. He joined Drew Brees (10) and Peyton Manning (14) as the only NFL players to have at least nine seasons with 4,000 passing yards. He joined Manning as the only NFL quarterbacks with four seasons with 35 or more touchdown passes. Brady also guided the Patriots to their 13th division title of his career, the most by a quarterback in NFL history.
Butler was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time. He is in his first year as a starter after joining the team as rookie free agent out of West Alabama in 2014. Butler made his first career interception when he sealed the Patriots' Super Bowl XLIX win vs. Seattle with an interception in the end zone with 26 seconds to play. Butler has started all 14 games so far in 2014 and has totaled 60 tackles, two interceptions and a team-leading 15 passes defensed.
Collins was named to his first Pro Bowl. A second-round draft pick out of Southern Mississippi in 2013, Collins moved into the starting lineup midway through his rookie season. He is tied for the team lead with 76 total tackles, has 5 1/2 sacks, one interception, four forced fumbles and a blocked extra point, despite missing four games earlier in the season.
Gostkowski was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in his career and for the third straight season. He enters this week with an NFL-leading 139 points. He has led the NFL in points in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and if he leads the NFL in 2015, will he will join Don Hutson (5) and Gino Cappelletti (5) as the only players to lead the league in scoring in five seasons. Gostkowski also surpassed Adam Vinatieri this year to become the team's all-time leader in field goals and enters this week with 273 career field goals.
Gronkowski was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time after being selected in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He enters this week with 66 receptions for 1,072 yards and 11 touchdowns. He eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving and 10-plus touchdowns in a season for the third time in his career and is the only tight end in NFL history with three 1,000-yard and double-digit touchdown seasons. He is also the first tight end in NFL history with five 10-plus touchdown seasons.
Jones earned his first Pro Bowl berth after registering a career-high 12 1/2 sacks through the first 14 games of the season. A first-round draft pick out of Syracuse in 2012, Jones now has two 10-plus sack seasons after totaling 11 1/2 sacks in 2013. Jones' 36 total sacks in his first four seasons are second only to Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett's 43 1/2 sacks in his first four seasons with the Patriots.
Slater earned his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl selection as a special teams player. The former fifth-round draft pick out of UCLA earned a roster position with the Patriots as a rookie in 2008 with his contributions on special teams. Entering the 2011 season, teammates elected him as their special teams captain. That year, he was also selected to his first Pro Bowl. Since then, he has earned special teams captain honors to start each season and been voted to the Pro Bowl at season's end. He has led the Patriots in special teams tackles for three of the last four seasons and enters this week tied for the team lead with 12 special teams tackles.