Is there any chance Bowe is paying the price for what happened in the Chiefs front office after KC gave Larry Johnson his phat deal in the wake of the Jared Allen disaster? The Jared Allen and Larry Johnson fiascoes certainly were the lumps of coal in Clark's Xmas stocking that sent King Carl packing.
In order to see if Bowe is paying the price we should try to make a reasoned assessment of what Dewayne might be looking for in terms of a deal. There's no real basis for speculation on this topic due to the impressive cone of silence both he and the team have maintained on the subject.That said, there are a few ways to speculate with some kind of ball park result - based on the tag number and what other top play-makers around the league have gotten in recent months.
I would think the very least Bowe would be asking for at his age and production level would be a 4 to 5 year deal worth 10 million a year with guaranteed money in the range of 30-35 million in the first three years. In fact if those are the right numbers I even think they're reasonable for his skills.
The problem is partly this: at age 27 (or 28 once the season starts?) Bowe is most certainly looking for a 4 year deal and the team will certainly want at least an option for a 5th year. Several top play-makers in the NFL have signed deals in the 5 year/50 million dollar range with most of the first 3 or 4 years guaranteed.
So, in order to sign Bowe long term, the team will have to guarantee 30-35 million dollars over the first three years of a 4-5 year deal. Basically we're talking about at least a 40 million dollar deal to get Bowe signed for 4 years, and somewhere between 75% and 85% of it guaranteed on day 1.
Now I am really impressed with the way Dewayne has matured in the last 3 years and with his play on the field. I'm even more impressed with his ability to keep his flamboyant personality out of the media. However, I'm not convinced he's a good risk for a 40 million dollar deal. And I'd like to see a high production year out of him without Haley riding herd on him.
Remember what happened the last time we gave a player with a history of questionable decision making and poor attitude a big pile of cash? He started spitting on waitresses. Now I know it's extreme to think Bowe would ever do anything that vile, but he has to realize he's negotiating with a team freshly burned by LJ.
Now lets look at it from purely a business point of view. Most CEO's will tell you it's absolutely essential to keep your business as nimble as possible in order to respond to changing conditions in your market. Business 101 folks.
Right now, under the tag KC can keep Bowe one year at a time for the next two years for a total cost of 20.9 million under the tag. that's 450K/yr more than it would cost them if they sign Bowe long term. To you and me 900K is a lot of dough but in this situation it's money well spent to keep the team in the position cap-wise to respond to a career ending injury or loss of production from Bowe for any reason.
On the plus side;
- they can keep their powder dry by tagging Bowe and moving forward,
- once he signs the tag he can be traded,
- no deal gives Bowe incentive to play for the best deal possible after the season is over,
- the team isn't on the hook for 30-35 million if Bowe gets hurt (cold but we're talking the biz side)
On the downside;
- that 30-35 million guarantee
- Bowe could go soft with a fat deal, many do.
- if Bowe implodes like LJ, Pioli is holding the bag - not his style
- there's no guarantee a big deal will make Bowe happy or change his attitude about anything.
I can't see any reason at all for the team to give Bowe a long term deal. The benefits of not doing so outweigh the negatives by a long margin imho. There's no savings in it for them as Bowe will want what everyone else is getting, and while it's costing them more to tag him, it's offset by the reduced risks and flexibility it gives them year to year.
Once you add in the fact they almost certainly would have offered him this (or nearly this) same deal before the tag deadline... well... for some reason that didn't happen. Did the team make an offer that Bowe declined? Did they not make an offer at all? Who knows. Moot but for the point perhaps Bowe or his agent could have done more sooner to avoid where he is now. Which leads one to ask if Bowe has decided he really just wants out - and if he decided that a long long long time ago?
Certainly the team had incentives to sign either Carr or Bowe long term before the tag deadline. Bowe missed that opportunity, and I have to say he has to bear some of the responsibility for that regardless of whether the team made an offer or not.
It's hard to not to see the Ghost of LJ all over this situation. It's not Dewayne's fault, but it is his responsibility to know and understand the situation and the dynamics of the motivations of the other players in this negotiation with him.
Simply put. The team has decided Bowe is not the kind of player they want to partner with in a 40 or 50 million dollar deal. This happens everyday in the real world too. Hitch up yer big boy britches and get to camp man. The fans will still be yelling our fool heads off for ya!