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Dwayne Bowe's inactivity with Browns puts Chiefs decision in perspective

Jeremy Maclin might have been a better upgrade than anyone even realized.

For years, Dwayne Bowe was the top wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs. For the Cleveland Browns, he can't even make the active roster.

Just a year removed from sitting atop the Chiefs depth chart, Bowe has been inactive for two-thirds of the Browns games so far in 2015. Head coach Mike Pettine was asked about Bowe's position this week, and it certainly doesn't sound like he's going to play any time soon.

"We make that decision each week," Pettine said. "We build a plan and see where we are from a depth standpoint. We talk about the minimum position requirements. The top four guys are entrenched."

That Bowe couldn't even make the Browns game day roster this season likely shows just how bad the Chiefs were at wide receiver in 2014.

It's an interesting fall for Bowe, who holds several top franchise marks for Kansas City. Bowe is second in career catches behind Tony Gonzalez with 532. He has the most receptions in a game (13) and season (86) for any wideout in Chiefs history. He's third in all-time receiving yards behind Gonzalez and Otis Taylor with 7,155, and he accomplished all of this with one of the worst QB carousels in the NFL during his tenure from 2007-14.

Still entering 2015, it was quite clear that Bowe-as-the-top-target was an issue to address this offseason. When the Chiefs let Bowe walk and signed Jeremy Maclin, it was clearly a solid upgrade. Every NFL analyst praised the move, even if some questioned Maclin's price tag. That said, it's unlikely that very many saw such a fall from grace for Bowe. It makes Dorsey's replacement of Bowe look that much better (and Ray Farmer's gift of $9m guaranteed to Bowe that much worse).

It's good for the Browns that they like the players they have at wideout -- the four above Bowe being Taylor Gabriel, Andrew Hawkins, Travis Benjamin and Brian Hartline. But the Browns were also expected to seriously address the position given Josh Gordon's ongoing concerns in each of the last two drafts -- being linked to both Sammy Watkins last year and DeVante Parker this year. That Bowe couldn't even make the Browns game day roster this season likely shows just how bad the Chiefs were at wide receiver in 2014.

Beyond this year, it will be interesting to see how well Bowe is remembered by Chiefs fans who watched him as the team's best receiver for some time. One thing is clear: Browns fans will be glad to forget this signing ever happened.

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