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January 22, 2014

Will Pro Bowl be Jordan Gross' final game?

KAPOLEI, Hawaii - Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross was about to book a vacation when he received an offer for another one.

Whether Gross will be going on permanent vacation from the NFL remains to be determined.

Gross, the 11-year veteran, said he was about to buy a flight for his family to Fort Myers, Fla., this week when Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman called.

"Do you want to go to Hawaii?" Gettleman asked him, according to Gross.

With San Francisco tackle Joe Staley pulling out of the Pro Bowl, Gross was the next man up. (Incidentally, all eight 49ers players selected have now withdrawn from the game due to injury or because they want time off.)

And with that, Gross was buying round-trip tickets to Honolulu for his wife and their two children.

It's the third Pro Bowl appearance for Gross, who becomes a free agent Feb. 7 when his contract voids.

Gross, 33, has said he will only play for the Panthers -- and if he's not playing for them he wants to remain with the organization in some capacity. Gross was among several players scheduled to have dinner with Panthers coach Ron Rivera last week.

I didn't get a chance to ask Gross about that dinner or his future (again) on Tuesday because he was checking into the players' hotel with his family.

And the situation likely won't be resolved immediately.

It's very possible that Gross, who agreed to restructure his contract last offseason to help the team's salary cap position, signs a 1- or 2-year deal to serve as a bridge to the left tackle of the future (who could be the next "Hog Mollie" drafted by Gettleman).

Until then, Gross and his family have a week to enjoy Hawaii.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 22, 2014 at 12:08 PM | Permalink


I've met Gross, great guy on and off the field. I hope he returns...

Posted by: bt | Jan 22, 2014 12:46:41 PM

Who can step in and perform at a pro bowl (backup) level? sign him to a 2-3 year deal with incentives. I can't believe this is even a story.

Posted by: hairscrambler | Jan 22, 2014 1:53:45 PM

Gross chose the number 69 because its gross

Posted by: stanley | Jan 22, 2014 2:13:08 PM

even if we draft a top flight tackle in round 1, we still need gross next year. bell can slide to right guard to solidify the line with starting caliber guys.

all we have to do is get guys healthy, bring everybody back and bring in a draft class and get more from the coaching staff. that's it.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 22, 2014 2:13:51 PM

jordan is the nicest guy, charlotte needs more like him, we need to keep him (in whatever role he wants)

Posted by: someonewhoknows | Jan 22, 2014 3:40:09 PM

A player must buy his own tickets to the pro bowl-- wow-- the NFL is cheap-

Posted by: Netranger | Jan 22, 2014 3:41:04 PM

The player gets a ticket to the pro bowl but he must buy the tickets for his friends and family.

Posted by: CJ | Jan 22, 2014 4:13:06 PM

GROSS, DONT GO BRO! I would ask you to take one for the team but you already did that but, take another one for the team ( I couldn't help it). We'll do you like Ray Lewis and send you off with a Super Bowl fare well!

Posted by: Chuck | Jan 22, 2014 6:03:40 PM

Gross we need you! come back to Panthers for 1 more year!

Posted by: Sean | Jan 23, 2014 12:13:03 PM

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