To understand whether NFL players are truly invested in the Pro Bowl Games format, consider their feedback after Year 1 of the revamped event.

They asked the league to allow for more practice time in 2024.

"[They said] we're not playing flag all the time," said Peter O'Reilly, the NFL's executive vice president for club business, international and league events.

Among the tweaks ahead of February's Pro Bowl Games in Orlando -- the centerpiece of which will again be a series of flag football games -- will be more time for walk-throughs to permit the teams to prepare with their respective coaches, Peyton and Eli Manning.

"More opportunity to understand what Peyton and Eli have up their sleeves," O'Reilly said.

As for the more obvious elements of the format, the NFL is taking the approach of not messing with a good thing.

As commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this year after the first non-tackle iteration of the Pro Bowl, "I don't see us going back in any way. I think this is the future for us."

Players agree, it seems.

The former version of the Pro Bowl had become an embarrassment for the league. Players, in an effort to avoid injuries in an all-star game, were playing an unserious brand of football, avoiding the collisions and physicality inherent to the game. Relatedly, numerous star players -- even those who weren't treating serious injuries -- were opting out of the game.

There was some sentiment in recent years that the game might be eliminated altogether.

"The game doesn't work," Goodell said in May 2022. "We need to find another way to celebrate the players."

Now, the belief is the NFL has found its solution.

In addition to players showing a heightened level of competitiveness in last year's event, there is also another indicator that they approve of the current setup: They're actually showing up.

"We had the fewest replacement players [in the game's history]," O'Reilly said. "So, guys wanted to be there. They wanted to participate."

There will be some changes to note in Year 2 of this format. The NFL will adjust some of the skills challenges, though exact details are yet to be released. The multiday setup will continue, with a made-for-TV slate of skills competitions scheduled for Feb. 1, followed by the flag games and additional skills events on Feb. 4.

The flag format has made the event more appealing to players, but it has also served an additional purpose for the NFL by furthering the league's goals of promoting flag football domestically and internationally. At the youth level, parents hesitant to introduce their young children to tackle football often opt for flag football as an alternative. And the growth of flag football among young girls is beneficial to a league that considers its healthy female fan base vital to its continued growth.

The momentum has resulted in men's and women's flag football being added to the slate of events for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

That has grabbed the attention of plenty of NFL players and lent more credibility to the Pro Bowl Games. Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill, who participated in the 2023 Pro Bowl Games in Las Vegas, has been a vocal proponent of participating in the international event.

"You know how amazing it would be to assemble a super team to play in the Olympics?" Hill said on his podcast, "It Needed To Be Said." "Just to compete for a world championship? That would be crazy, to be able to go to the Olympics and actually win a medal."

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also has expressed interest, telling reporters in Germany last month, "I definitely want to [play], but I've seen some of those guys play flag football and they're a little faster than I am... I'll be 31, 32 years old, so if I can still move around then, I'm going to try to get out there and throw the football around."

USA Football, the sport's governing body in the United States, would ultimately take the lead in assembling the Olympic roster. And there remain unanswered questions about the participation of NFL players, including how to account for the potential for injuries, the overall availability of players and whether team owners would agree to the idea of their players taking part.

But scheduling would not seem to be an impediment. The timing of the '28 Games, scheduled for July 14-30, 2028, would theoretically allow NFL players to return for the start of training camps.

From the perspective of the league office, the NFL is all in on the Olympics idea. And they won't need to twist any arms if players are permitted to play.

"Flag football is very much on the [players'] radar," O'Reilly said.

And, now, so is the Pro Bowl.

Fan voting continues through Monday. The other two-thirds of the balloting process include votes from players and coaches. Rosters will be revealed in the coming weeks.