It’s now or next offseason for Dwayne Bowe and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The deadline for franchise players to establish a long-term deal with their teams is today at 4 p.m. Eastern. That means if the Chiefs and Bowe can not reach an agreement, Bowe will have to play the 2012 season under the franchise tender the Chiefs extended him before the start of free agency. The one-year deal will pay Bowe just over $9 million for the season.
We told you three days ago that the reports from NFL insiders Jason La Canfora and Adam Schefter are indicating that the Chiefs and Bowe are not close and are not likely to get a deal done.
Bowe is a talented player and while I am sure most Chiefs fans would like to see him locked up for the remainder of his prime, if a deal doesn’t get done there really isn’t any reason to panic. Unless Bowe intends to sit out the entire season, which he has already said he has no intention of doing, then the Chiefs will have their #1 receiver in 2012.
Playing under a one-year deal is usually a good thing for the players. It give them extra incentive to perform at a high level so they can earn a high contract once they finally do hit the market. The Chiefs have a stacked roster that should enable Bowe to do his best work yet as a Chief, which could mean a second AFC West Championship for the Cassel-Bowe connection.
Whether or not this is Bowe’s last season in KC remains to be seen. Should he have a monster year, the move to have Bowe on the franchise tag this year could come back to bite the Chiefs, as the receiver’s asking price could go even higher next offseason.
If I were a betting man, I’d say Scott Pioli is hoping that Jonathan Baldwin emerges as a top threat this season, giving the Chiefs the option of allowing Bowe to walk. Pioli invested heavily in the wide receiver position this offseason, drafting Devon Wylie and Junior Hemingway. Should one or both of those players develop with Baldwin in 2012, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Bowe depart in 2013.
What do you think, Addicts? Is Pioli playing it smart or cheap?