Let me preface this quickly by saying that, yes, I know this isn't technically a holdout. He just hasn't signed his tender yet, so he isn't obligated to be at training camp. By definition, he isn't under contract, thus he isn't holding out.
But that's the terminology that's in common use around here, and it's a lot less cumbersome to plug into a sentence the forty times or so every day we're each going to refer to it than saying, "Bowe's non-tender-signed training camp null period" or whatever variant you'd want. (Here's a parenthetical aside for you, MN. Enjoy.)
So now that we have terminology out of the way, here's the thing I'd really like to address about Bowe in the face of all the vitriol that's going on about him right now: He's held out before. In fact, he held out his rookie year. Drafted in 2007, Bowe held out for the first week and a half of camp back then. And do you, dear reader, know how badly that holdout hurt his performance during the regular season? Not at all. Bowe had a fantastic rookie season for a WR, on a pretty bad team.
Here's a little time capsule reminder:
After Eddie Kennison, there really seems to be a cluster of receivers, none of which have really asserted himself as the guy to play opposite Kennison for the Chiefs. There are some promising talents, including this season's first-round pick Dwayne Bowe, but they really do not have any other established receivers to take the pressure off Kennison, and maybe more importantly, tight end Tony Gonzalez. Bowe looks to be the favorite, but a contract holdout caused him to miss some time and it will be vital to see whether or not he assimilates himself to the offense quickly. Link from Yahoo sports on Aug 30, 2007
I'm one of those crazy few trying to see both sides of the Bowe contract situation. I understand Bowe is a great WR, and he should get his payday. I also understand the financial side of things, and that it's possible to over-pay for a WR, even a great one. I think Megatron is the best WR in the game today, and he's still grossly overpaid for his position. So of course my stance is still that Bowe should get paid well, but not overpaid to where it cripples the team's financial options in the future. But that's a whole other debate as to how much is too much, and that's not what this post is about.
It's about taking a step back, drawing in a deep breath, and derailing the freakout train that left the station earlier today. Bowe is a very talented player. His holdout as a rookie had no discernible negative effect on his ability to produce. Now that he's a seasoned veteran, this (wrongly named) "holdout" isn't disrespecting his team mates, it isn't hurting his stock as a player, and it isn't going to make him suddenly forget how to shed tackles and be a YAC monster once the regular season starts.
Douse the torches, put away the pitchforks, and just be excited that camp is underway. Bowe will get there in due time. And everyone will forget about his delay in signing his franchise tender come week one against the Falcons when he's leaving DB's in his wake and breaking one out for a long TD.