What happens next could determine his future with the Chiefs.
If Bowe, is in violation of his contract, as everyone assumes he is at this point, Kansas City would be off the hook for $10.25 million in bonus dollars in 2014 & 2015. That means if the Chiefs cut him until he’s eligible to return after his one-game suspension, they’d save $8.75 million in 2014-cap space. That would offset his $9 million cap hit in 2015.
Should that sum be immediately available to the Chiefs, they could use it to extend the contracts of Quarterback, Alex Smith or Linebacker, Justin Houston. If that’s not the case, they could position themselves to land San Francisco 49ers Guard, Alex Boone.
Boone’s name has surfaced in recent days and the Chiefs appear to be a viable landing spot for the skilled veteran. Boone is in this position because he’s gone from back up to elite starter and he wants to get paid. To date, the 49ers have refused to entertain extension talks and are prepared to deal him to save cap space. If this deal goes down, the Chiefs are looking for an alternative to incumbent starting Guard, Jeff Allen, who appears to be the weakest link on the Chiefs offensive line.
Still that’s a rumbling that may never occur and that really doesn’t affect the Bowe situation that much. The real issue for the Chiefs is what to do if they do dump their number one receiver, who for the record is battling a finger issue that could prevent him from playing Sunday night against the Carolina Panthers.
That aside the question has to be asked. Do the Chiefs really want to go into the regular season with Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins as the teams starting outside receivers? I think not. So if they do release Bowe, the team would have to lure another veteran receiver via the waiver wire. Which means, if that player has significant skill, the Chiefs might have to get into a bidding war to retain his services.
At this point, it’s too early to examine other NFL rosters to contemplate, which receiver the Chiefs might be able to land in the coming weeks. The good news, unless they have a follow up move already in hand, Kansas City doesn’t have to make this decision until the day after the season opener next month.
For me, this issue is a tough coin to flip. I don’t think Bowe is in the Chiefs long-term plans but I don’t see any other receiver on their current roster that has his potential. Granted Bowe hasn’t lived up to the bill of goods but that doesn’t mean he won’t have a turn around season in Kansas City in 2014.
General Manager, John Dorsey, made the decision a year ago to give Bowe a new deal. If he cuts him now, that would prove to be a mistake. Or would it? Heading into the 2014 season, the Chiefs didn’t have any other starters they could count on at the wide receiver position.
So in analyzing that weak position, the decision to sign Bowe was made two years before Dorsey arrived in Kansas City. Had General Manager, Scott Pioli, not wasted a first round pick on Wide Receiver, Jonathan Baldwin, its unlikely Bowe would have received an extension with the Chiefs. Because Baldwin was a bust, Dorsey played the only wild card he could out of a very stacked deck and gave Bowe elite receiver dollars.
I’m not ready to throw in the towel on Bowe just yet but I can see why the Chiefs might feel differently. I was told from the day Head Coach Andy Reid and Dorsey arrived in Kansas City, they wanted to build a 53-man roster with their own players.
That’s one defense I can’t make for Bowe. He isn’t one of theirs. Thus they could decide, parting ways with him a year earlier than planned, might be the best overall solution for the long-term success of the franchise.
Photos of Dwayne Bowe (1) Cary Edmonson & Brian Spurlock USA Today Sports
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Should the Chiefs cut Dwayne Bowe?
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