The Kansas City Chiefs aren't rebuilding. But their offense will be. A piece of the puzzle that won't remain next season is Dwayne Bowe. Bowe's contract is expiring, and as the Chiefs have more focus on the draft/ developing depth - the Chiefs know that Bowe would prefer to play on a team that is in a better mold to win a championship.
To note, it's doubtful that a trade will be made this week. But likely next - near the deadline.
60% - Houston Texans :
Fact 1 - Andre Johnson's health in November and December has never been great.
Fact 2 - With Cushing out for the year, the Texans are going to need to rely on their offense / scoring more points.
The only case against the trade is whether the rich want to risk getting richer? Bowe has a solid reputation and is one of the least "flamboyant" wide outs in the league.
The Texans offense is based on a run-first zone running scheme similar to Kansas City. In terms of no.1 WRs, Bowe is one of if not the best selfless blocking WRs. If anything his addition would not only free up space for Arian Foster but give him more yards after the first cut.
Bowe's addition wouldn't really harm the chemistry of the team. Their 2nd leading receiver is Owen Daniels, and Kevin Walter is their 2nd best WR. He's also had injury concerns in the past and does not provide any relief in the endzone. Walter could come in to play slot if needed.
What Gary Kubiak and company need is insurance that Walter isn't the teams no.1 target come playoff time.
The Bounty : Should BOWE start becoming a "hot name" in the media and w/ other trades, the Texans (who currently hold the best record in the AFC) could be forced to part a 1st round pick for Bowe. This has happened before with less stable players -> Roy Williams.
This could be a heavy price to pay, but in all likelyhood the Texans will trade TJ Yates this offseason for a mid 2nd or high 3rd pick. Or should Matt Schaub get injured and Yates play will, they could trade the elder Schaub and rebuild around Yates.
The Problem : The Texans have about 4.5 million in cap space available. Currently Bowe is in a 9.5 million dollar contract as part of the Franchise tag. Since he has played 6 games under this contract (and will potentially play 7 before the deadline) the Texans will be cutting it close to their cap limit.
With the loss of Brian Cushing , the Texans would not be able to make many moves on street free agents without re-negotiating or cutting another player.
Solution : Kansas City, a team with a very HIGH amount of cap space, could take on a full amount of the contract causing the Texans to pay more in terms of draft picks. This happens a lot. Leaving things open.
Does It Make Sense? : Absolutely. The Chiefs won't find a player near the caliber of Bowe in the draft. Rebuilding for a ROOKIE quarterback involves a lot of patience and the right players.
Kansas City still has issues within the secondary that will require focus in the draft and on early days. They will also (likely) lose Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey - Although Allen Bailey will likely fill 1/2 of that role. Ropati Pitoitua is part of 1 year contract, however he could be extended after this season.
Scenario 1 - If the Chiefs draft bottom 10 in the 1st round & Chiefs draft top 5 in the 2nd round ... The Chiefs could address needs at Safety, MLB, Corner, and TE ( still not sold on Moeaki being a true no.1). The team - which has countless bright spots - could "potentially" have upgrades at 3 positions at the start of next year thanks to the NFL draft.
Scenario 2 - If the Chiefs draft Top 10 in the 1st and 2nd round of the NFL Draft and have Houston's bottom 10ick in the 1st round. The Chiefs could :
1. Trade up to the Top 5 w/ their second pick or the additional 1st round pick if needed. (ie RGIII scenario)
2. If they aren't happy w/ the QBs in the draft or feel like their is a once a decade player (ie Manti Teo, Star Lotulelei) and draft the QB they want.
3. Trade their 2nd round pick (or lower) for a back up in the NFL that is ready-now. TJ Yates (Texans) , Kirk Cousins (Redskins) ,/ LOWER - Matt Moore (Dolphins) , Colt McCoy (Browns) , Joe Webb (Vikings) , Josh Skelton (Cardinals) .
Before you disgrace the 2nd or 3rd point.. I'll note my own opinion. Geno Smith will be the only Top 10 QB in this draft. And he'll go no.1 . Matt Barkley is Jimmy Clausen 2.0 . Maybe worse. In terms of NFL Caliber, he's worse than Sanchez and Worse than Leinart. I have a future post lined up as to why I don't see the Chiefs even considering Barkley after Matt Cassel. If Pioli is still honcho, I see him taking Smith or Logan Thomas. This is a poor QB draft. But we'll get to that later.
Barkley's best passes at USC were timed routes. Not read progressions. Watch the Stanford game. You just need to get him off his footwork and full press your WR and he's frustrated. It's easier that beating Dr. Robotnik on Sonic The Hedgehog 2.
20% - New York Jets :
This might be even higher. Rex Ryan is 3-3 right now. He's aware that this could be his final year as head coach. Even if they make the playoffs. But he's also at the top of the AFC East after the Patriots lost to Seattle.
PROS : The Jets have the Salary to take on Bowe's contract for the remainder of the season. Bowe would likely want to go to New York for media exposure right as his contract expires. It could also be a place that he might want to stay at. NYJ hasn't had a Pro Bowl caliber WR since Keyshawn Johnson. Go ahead and yell Santanna Moss / Laveranues Cole fans.
Should Tebow take over at QB, a slant WR like Bowe is what he'll be asking for. Bowe allows more vertical threat from Santonio Holmes.
CONS : The question is whether ownership will have enough confidence on the Jets winning it all this year w/ Sanchez/Tebow.
Having a shot to win the AFC East won't be enough for them to pull a trigger and give up a high round pick.
Although never stated, it's assumed that Pioli has a sour taste in his mouth w/ the Jets as much as BB does.
The Bounty : The Jets tend to be the aggressors when it comes to Big Media moves. The Giants are coming off a Super Bowl. Ownership understands what merchandising + wins =. So they make moves similar to Jerry Jones. Back to back 2nd round picks seems rational. Or a 1st round pick. Although that's a very bold move.
I don't see it happening - BUT - if the Pats were 1 or 2 games ahead of the Jets by trade deadline, they could try to leapfrog over a potential deal w/ the Pats for Bowe.
10% - Minnesota Vikings :
PROS : The Vikings are succeeding under Christian Ponder. Their weapons - Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson appear to be healthy. Kyle Rudolph is having an excellent 2nd season. The two things by the mid-way point that are going to be crucial.
1. They are AHEAD of the Packers in wins.
2. They have a chance at getting a Wild Card if they can beat out one of the NFC West teams.
Leslie Frazier is another HC on the potential chopping block. Outside of Harvin they have Michael Jenkins who could still play some outside when Harvin is in slot situations.
CONS : Would Bowe be interested in signing long term to the Vikings?
The Bounty : I don't see a young team like Minnesota putting anything more than a 3rd round pick for Rent-A-Bowe. They feel like a team that is "lucky to be there" and won't gamble too much w/ its future to make the playoffs now. Even if that means finding a new Head Coach if Frazier falters to a sub 500 season.
10% - New England Patriots :
PROS : Although they are the "better team" New England is 3-3 in their division. They are also looking less threatening as a franchise than in previous years.
The loss of Aaron Hernandez has hurt the Pats. Even though they will likely be in the Super Bowl conversation, the Super Bowl conversation might be what would force BB to pull the trigger on a trade like this.
As of this week - The Giants are a Superior team.
Belichick recently turned 60. This is still young for a head coach. He dislikes the media and is unlikely to pursue a lush commentator job. He also lacks an heir apparent that is within the system. That being said, if the Patriots fail to win a Championship - it will have been 8 years since he's won a Super Bowl. If they should make the Super Bowl and lose to the Giants....
One has to ask if he'd want to take a break from the game? If that answer is yes, this offseason could be that time.
CONS : Regardless of who he has on the outside, Brady has struggled when you rush 5 for the last 2 seasons. BB might offer a 2nd round pick - almost as a favor - but nothing more. His motto has been building the team around his draft picks. It's highly unlikely that that would change now (with the last comment in the Pros argument over ruled)