Don't Underestimate Dwayne Bowe

KANSAS CITY MO - SEPTEMBER 26: Dwayne Bowe #82 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a 45-yard touchdown reception against the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium on September 26 2010 in Kansas City Missouri. The Chiefs won 31-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

On a team loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, it's easy to say the group can still succeed if a star goes down or leaves . While that is most certainly the case, the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans would be fooling themselves to think losing Dwayne Bowe wouldn't be a serious blow.

Since being drafted in 2007, Bowe has been one of the best and most important pieces on Kansas City. In each of the past two seasons he has elevated his game to become one of the premier receivers in the league despite having mediocre to horrid play at quarterback.

Bowe has recorded 1,000 yard campaigns now in back-to-back years and shows no signs of slowing down. Being only 27-years-old, his best years should be ahead of him. Yet some folks say Bowe can leave if his price doesn't fit into the Chiefs plans because Jonathan Baldwin was drafted.

That line of thinking is flat out lunacy.

Bowe is a dominant force who commands safety help over the top or a double-team at all times. He keeps defenses honest even when Jamaal Charles is ripping off huge chunks of yardage. Most importantly, he makes Matt Cassel look better than he is more often than not with terrific body control and some of the best run-after-the-catch ability in the NFL.

It's an unfair rap that Bowe has bad hands or lacks focus. Early in his career Bowe had some problems dropping passes and even led the league in that category. However, he's completely turned that around since dropping a touchdown pass against Indianapolis in the early part of 2010.

Losing Bowe because of a contract dispute would set this team back in a very noticeable fashion. Nobody in the league respects Baldwin yet and they shouldn't. He's yet to prove he's worth anything at the pro level thanks to a preseason fight with a teammate.

Baldwin may turn out to be a great player, or a complete bust. Nobody knows. What people do know is Bowe can overpower almost any corner he goes against on Sunday's. Why not lock him up and if Baldwin turns out to be a star, you're set at that position with Steve Breaston in the fold as well?

Let's not forget that he blocks better than 95 percent of the wide receivers in the league also. Bowe springs long runs thanks to a skill he's improved on every year of his career. He certainly wasn't a perfect player early on, but Bowe has become a force that Kansas City can't do without.

All signs point to Scott Pioli and the Chiefs wanted to bring Bowe back. Luckily, Bowe seems to want a contract in Kansas City that will lock him up long-term. No animosity has been spewed yet, so hope is very much alive and well.

The Chiefs are finally good enough to do some damage this year and beyond. They can't afford to screw that up by letting Bowe walk through the door.

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