The deadline to use the franchise tag is only hours away. As NJ Chiefs Fan noted in Arrowheadlines, it's a 3:00 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) deadline today. We're expecting the Kansas City Chiefs to use it on WR Dwayne Bowe. This became the popular prediction when CB Stanford Routt making CB Brandon Carr potentially expendable.
The franchise tag for wide receivers is expected to be around $9.5 million. The league hasn't officially set that yet (or the salary cap number for that matter).
This should be an easy decision for the Chiefs. They've been talking longterm contract but with nothing imminent this makes the most sense. Bowe is an important part of the Chiefs and clearly their most important receiver on the field. He's improving on the field and looks like he's worth the multi-million deal the two sides are trying to work out.
The next question -- assuming Bowe receives the franchise tag -- is whether Bowe will sign it right away. The players only real leverage is to sit out the offseason, and perhaps even training camp, while waiting on a new deal. It'll be interesting to see if Bowe chooses to take that route.
The Chiefs have had a couple of franchise players in the Pioli era. QB Matt Cassel was traded with the franchise tag before signing a $60+ million deal and LB Tamba Hali was also tagged for signing a $60 million deal.