The Morning Fix: Chiefs News From Around The Web

Neiko Thorpe did everything right.

He stayed stride-for-stride with Chiefs receiver Jonathan Baldwin, redirecting his route with a little shove. When quarterback Matt Cassel threw Baldwin’s way, Thorpe turned his head to locate the ball. He even used the back of the end zone to his advantage and limited the space his cover had to make a catch.

It didn’t matter. After an acrobatic one-handed grab and perfect toe-drag in the back corner of the end zone, the ball still ended up in Baldwin’s hands for a score.

Baldwin’s catch was meaningless on the offseason scoreboard, but prominent in Thorpe’s mind as he tries to make Kansas City’s roster. The rookie could only pull from what he learned in college before moving on to the next play.

If you were into reading too much into tweets on July 2, the key passage here is that Bowe “said” he wanted to take his talents to South Beach. Bowe is an unsigned franchise player, and he could be looking at the Dolphins as a possible landing spot if and when he ever hits free agency.

Of course, the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t going to let that happen. They have him franchised this year and could do it again next season if they can’t reach a long-term deal. Plenty of players want to play in Miami. They more likely want to play for the team that pays them the most money. Bowe’s response to Davis won’t quiet any speculation, though.

Now that Denver kicker Matt Prater has signed a four-year extension with the Broncos, there is one only unresolved franchised player in the AFC West: Kansas City receiver Dwayne Bowe.

Originally, three players were franchised in the AFC West: Prater, Bowe and Oakland safety Tyvon Branch. Branch signed his tender earlier this preseason and he is under contract for the 2012 season. He hopes to sign a long-term deal with the Raiders some point this year, if not, he will be a free agent again next year. Oakland can give him the franchise tag again.

As for Bowe, it has been a quiet offseason. Like most unsigned franchised players, Bowe did not participate in the Chiefs’ offseason program. If he does not sign a long-term deal by July 16, Bowe will not be able to sign an extension during the season and he must play for his $9.6 million tender in 2012. There haven’t been any indications that Bowe is close to signing a new deal.

1. Shane Lechler, Oakland: You could call him the greatest punter to ever and have a strong argument.

2. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland: Janikowski is getting better with age. He has found consistency to go along with his spectacular leg.

3. Mike Scifres, San Diego: Always overshadowed by Lechler, Scifres is a standout himself.

4. Dustin Colquitt, Kansas City: He’d probably be the best punter in five or six divisions.

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