"I do stay in contact with D-Bowe," Carter said. "We did work two out of the last three years together in the offseason.
"He is one of those young receivers that is just right on the verge of taking that next step and being one of the elite, elite guys in this league.
"Lack of consistency at the quarterback position, now they (Chiefs) have a change in philosophy...the thing as far as his holdout, or him not being in camp, it really depends upon what was the tone of the conversation when they talked about an extension. A lot of organizations are using the franchise tag and these tenders to hold the players back compared to what they were originally meant for. Because if a team franchised you, that said you were one of the top five or eight guys in the league and they're looking to give you a longterm contract.
"No, that's not the case anymore. What they do now is give you the franchise tag so they can rent you for one year. People will be like, 'Well, Chris it's $9.5 million. But it's a business!' So I really need to examine the tone of that last conversation when they talked about a contract extension because the difference in getting a four-year contract and a one-year franchise tender is a huge difference in what you're saying about the player.
"I don't see him coming to camp for another week or so with them playing two preseason games. If I didn't like the tone of the conversation -- I don't have any insight into him -- but that's how I would look at it."
OK, Cris Carter probably didn't just randomly come up with that "tone of the conversation" insight out of the blue. Based on the entire interview, and despite what Carter says at the end there, I do think this insight came from D-Bowe. That's just my belief. You can judge for yourself by listening to the interview here.
If that's true then this is discouraging. No player likes the franchise tag but as part of the NFLPA they agreed to this when the last CBA was negotiated, so there shouldn't be much complaining. Yeah, it sucks, but it's part of the deal.