There hasn't been as much talk about a (Dwayne) Bowe and Arrowhead since Rambo's big-screen debut. Every day that Dwayne Bowe holds out, the wide receiver is shooting himself in the foot, and the Kansas City Chiefs are benefiting behind the scenes.
There is no shortage of negatives tied to Bowe's absence: The Kansas City Chiefs are without a Pro Bowl receiver, relationships have turned sour and the perennial playmaker is behind the curve in learning Brian Daboll's remodeled offense.
However, three rays of hope could emerge from the situation's cloudy details.
Trial and Tribulation
Although Dwayne Bowe and the Kansas City Chiefs remain in a precarious game of cat-and-mouse, it yields one immediate opportunity: a trial run.
By holding out, Dwayne Bowe is tightrope walking a fine line between pro and con. He's attempting to exhibit his value by taking himself out of the offensive equation. However, his decision opens a window of opportunity that last year's draft is dangerously close to entering:
Leaping TD grab in back of end zone...guess who...Jon Baldwin #ChiefsCamp— Josh Looney (@JoshLooney) August 1, 2012
How many receptions will Dwayne Bowe end this season with?
As KCChiefs.com's Josh Looney acknowledges, second-year wideout Jon Baldwin has dominated water-cooler talk around Missouri Western State University. A run-first blueprint headlined by Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis is fully capable of fueling a well-oiled offensive machine. And as Dwayne Bowe illustrated in 2010, a star wide receiver doubles the intimidation factor.
But is Jon Baldwin a star?
Only time will tell. But in training camp, he routinely shined bright enough to light up the defense.
King of the Cassel
A 2012 Dwayne Bowe-less offense is temporary, but Matt Cassel will be auditioning throughout the entire season. Cassel's foreseeable future will be shaped by this year's success (or lack of).
If you hold the preliminary depth chart for the Kansas City Chiefs and eclipse the quarterback section with your palm, the team looks like a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Assuming the team's relatively healthy for the sake of hypotheticals, the chart reveals the key cogs to 2010's league-leading ground game, a rapidly budding receiving corps and an oppressive defense that's on the verge of becoming elite.
Romeo Crennel's outspoken wooing of Peyton Manning signified that Cassel's lease could be terminated sooner than later.
If last season's trend transcends beyond 2011 and carries into this fall for the quarterback, Scott Pioli will be expected to make a ticker-worthy move at the position.
At the dawn of the 2013 draft, he will glance downward at the hand he was dealt and concoct a proposal—no matter what, Dwayne Bowe will be his most valuable card.
Bo(we) Knows Football
Dwayne Bowe knows that the sport—before anything else—is a business.
Spanning from the modest beginning in its infancy to its now-nationwide ubiquitousness, football's history is the proverbial rags-to-riches story. Today's gridiron greats idolized players such as Deion Sanders, whose gold chains shined with more karats than Bugs Bunny's fridge on grocery day. (And whose Jheri curl would catch fire if viewed through a magnifying glass. Michael Jackson: first human to extinguish flames via "Thriller" spin.)
In 2012, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous applies to virtually every player occupying an NFL roster spot. The easiest way to secure their future and feed luxurious habits is to sign a long-term contract.
Once the preseason fades away, Dwayne Bowe's practical options will dwindle down to one: signing the franchise tender.
Franchise tags have a mysterious way of maximizing production despite low employee morale. Bowe's incentivized by a potential contract in 2013. He surely understands that parading around the field and lollygagging the season away would be counterintuitive in the end—Kansas City would revoke any intentions to re-sign him (contractually or otherwise), and no other team would likely offer as much as the Chiefs did this past offseason.
No. 82 will want to (im)prove his worth and show that last season's statistical nosedive falls on the shoulders of Tyler Palko. Regardless, it's a win-win scenario for Kansas City locals.
Currency is the world's oldest dictator. In 2012, Dwayne Bowe's productivity will prove why.