As the contract situation goes on, we are going to hear more and more about Bowe sitting out the season, or the Chiefs trying to move him. Is there anything to that talk? Who knows, but both sides would be stupid for not considering life after Bowe in KC.
The arguments for both sides seem pretty set. Dwayne Bowe wants to be paid according to what the stat sheets say he's worth. It's a fair point. He has, statistically, been one of the absolute best WRs in the league over the past several years. He's an exceptional athlete and has worked hard at becoming a complete WR. From that point, he deserves to be paid the same kind of money as Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson.
For the Chiefs, there is a different point of view. Bowe has been very good to the team, but there have also been questions on and off the field. While Bowe has been largely well behaved recently, there is a history that has to concern the front office. He also has a well-documented history of untimely drops. But neither of those is the major concern though. The major concern is how well does Bowe fit with this current team? The Chiefs are a run-first team, and will be until a QB with a stronger arm takes the helm. How much is a WR worth to that kind of team?
Both sides have a lot to consider, and very fair points to make. So, if this is a situation that cannot be resolved in a long-term contract, what are the Chiefs to do?Well, for starters, the Franchise Tender has to be signed. Dwayne Bowe needs to play this season in Kansas City. It's in his best interest and the team's best interest. Bowe needs to show that he isn't the kind of guy who causes problems with his contract situations and also needs to put in another high-caliber season to increase his value to another franchise. The Chiefs need Bowe because he is still an important piece of the offense and because Jon Baldwin needs another season to develop.
So that solves 2012, but what about 2013?
Bowe will have to get the Franchise Tender again. Some might worry about that causing problems with Dorsey or Albert...but honestly, neither of them are worth that tender anyways. So we tender Bowe, and we make it known he's on the market. This makes Bowe the primary bargaining chip in the Chiefs pursuit of a franchise QB. Now, there are really only a couple of teams that we should even be looking for offers from:
1. Cleveland - Likely to be a top pick next year, the Browns got their QB and RB in this year's draft. Combine that with their focus on defense last year, and their complete lack of meaningful talent at WR and you have an ideal trading partner. Plus, we've done business there before and have some solid ties with the organization.
2. Carolina - It's unknown how the Panthers will fare this season, but their star WR is getting old, and there isn't much there to replace him with. With Cam Newton and one of the best RB-duos in the league, the Panthers will definitely be looking for a WR.
3. Miami - After drafting Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins will need to find him some weapons. Their defense is pretty well set, so fixing the offense becomes a priority. This is another team that will probably be drafting pretty high in 2013.
4. Minnesota - There isn't much to be excited about for the Vikings this year, and with Adrian Peterson's future uncertain, they are going to have to make some kind of a big move. That big move could likely be to get a premier WR for Christian Ponder.
5. St Louis - The Rams have yet to give Sam Bradford a top WR to throw to. They might not be in the best position to go after a player like Bowe, but at this point, there has to be some sense of desperation to find a big play catalyst.
So there are my 5 likely options. I'm confident that at least three of those teams are picking in the top 5 in 2013, so that puts the Chiefs in prime position to finally go after a QB that can take this team to the next level.