Recently released receiver Dwayne Bowe is visiting Cleveland and the Browns are in hard pursuit. After missing out on other free agent targets, Cleveland doesn’t want Bowe to leave town without a contract. If added to the roster the veteran easily becomes the top target despite coming off a disappointing year in which he registered only 754 yards and failed to reach the end zone.
However, Bowe did haul in 60 passes on just 96 targets. This leads me to believe that he can still be that guy. He has number one type talent despite being five years removed from his 2010 breakout season in which he scored 15 times. Although that number may not be duplicated, Bowe would become a go-to receiver for Josh McCown. McCown is a fan of big receivers and Bowe (6’2”) provides him with this quality.
Although there has been a dip in the receivers’ production over the last three years, there are reasonable explanations for this. Throughout the 2012 campaign, the Kansas City Chiefs started two quarterbacks, Matt Cassell and Brady Quinn. The Chiefs finished 2-14 and both quarterbacks combined for an 8:20 touchdown-interception ratio and 40 sacks.
Consequently, Bowe suffered from subpar quarterback play, but don’t fret, Cleveland’s offensive line is superior and in my opinion Josh McCown is an upgrade to Cassell and Quinn. Not to mention, the Miami native missed the last three games of the season with a rib injury. Regardless of those hindrances, he finished with 801 yards and three touchdowns on 59 catches.
During the following off-season Kansas City acquired Alex Smith from the 49ers. Smith is an excellent game manager, but he isn’t much of a downfield, deep ball passer. Additionally, the signal caller is mobile so he doesn’t shy away from running when needed. It also doesn’t help when the Chiefs focal point on offense is getting the ball to Jamaal Charles.
Given these points, the decline in Dwayne Bowe’s productivity comes from uncontrollable circumstances. It’s true that the veteran is 30 years old and may have lost a step, but Bowe has been healthy for the majority of his career. The former Pro Bowler should be eager to prove that the tank is still full.
Ultimately, the Browns are in dire need of a receiver making this a match made in heaven. If both parties can agree to a deal, then Cleveland gets the number one receiver that Bowe strives to be again. A deal hopefully gets signed soon before another free agent walks out the door.
– Max Gold
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