Wrap Up Free Agency With a Bowe



On Thursday night, Dwayne Bowe was released from the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was the second most productive wide receiver in franchise history. Bowe has fallen upon rough times the past three years, not posting more than 60 receptions or 801 yards. Despite these numbers, Bowe would instantly be the best wide receiver the Cleveland Browns would have on the active roster.

Bowe has had a rough three years, but Alex Smith hasn’t been able to consistently push the ball down field in order to maximize Bowe’s talent. Kansas City has been a burial ground for all wide receivers in the past few years. Relying heavily on Jammal Charles, Kansas City would rather run the ball and dink and dunk to get the ball into Charles’ hands in order for him to make plays in the open field. Bowe has field stretching abilities, but Kansas City has had some Browns level bad quarterbacks in Damon Huard, Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, Alex Smith and Chase Daniel.

Bowe has seen a drop in production, but that is not all on him. Bowe was only targeted on 20% of passes in 2014. That’s 44th out of 74 qualified receivers. Nobody is going to have outrageous stats when not being thrown the ball enough. Bowe, who turns 31 this year, has certainly lost a step, but he is still a legitimate threat. Bowe is an eight year veteran who has learned all the tricks that it takes to be a successful in the NFL even after one’s athletic prime. Bowe would play the role of elder statesmen that Miles Austin played last year, but Bowe would still be a threat.

If the Browns were to strike a deal with Bowe, the Browns would trot out a receiving group that included Bowe, Brian Hartline, Andrew Hawkins, Taylor Gabriel, Travis Benjamin, and Marlon Moore. Bowe, Hartline, and Hawkins are all established pass catchers who can get open and make a catch. Bowe, Hartline, and Hawkins would be a perfect fit for whatever young quarterback the Browns decide to play, conceivably Johnny Manziel or a quarterback through the draft. Gabriel emerged as a deep threat as a rookie, not something that is commonly said about 5’8 undrafted free agents. Benjamin and Moore are both returners who contribute little in the passing game. This current depth chart shows that the Browns have a need and a spot for Bowe.

It is expected, if not assured, that the Browns select one, if not two wide receivers in the upcoming NFL Draft. The Browns have two first round picks, which one can logically assume that taking a first round talent at wide receiver is a very real possibility. Ray Farmer passed on wide receivers in the entire draft last year, so it’s not implausible that history could repeat itself this year.

Dwayne Bowe is a seasoned veteran with some gas still left in the tank. It’s very unlikely that Bowe will revert back to his form of 2010 when he posted 72 receptions and 15 touchdowns. What Bowe would bring to the Browns is a grizzled veteran who can lead by example and make plays on Sundays. Bowe gives the Browns offense a legitimate weapon and veteran presence, something the Browns have never had. This could be the big signing that Browns fans have been pining for all off season, we will just have to wait and see.

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