Dwayne Bowe finally caved in his contract dispute by ending his holdout and signing his one-year, $9.515 million franchise tender last week. Then Bowe showed up to training camp in great shape and, according to Josh Looney, he appears ready to go for Friday's third preseason game.
His return makes the Kansas City Chiefs an exponentially more dangerous team this season.
In Bowe's absence, Steve Breaston and second-year pro Jon Baldwin were taking first-team reps. While that tandem has potential, neither one of those guys can match what Bowe can do on the field.
Baldwin is a promising, super-athletic wideout, and at 6'4" and 230 pounds with speed and leaping ability, he looks like a player to watch. But he had just 21 receptions for 254 yards and one touchdown as a rookie in 2011 and only has one catch for seven yards through two preseason games this year.
Meanwhile, Breaston is a steady pro entering his sixth season, but he doesn't have much upside. He caught 61 passes for 785 yards and two touchdowns in 2011, which was his first season in Kansas City. Breaston fits best as a No. 2 receiver, and lining up across from a dynamic talent like Bowe will make him much better.
In 2011, Bowe caught 81 passes for 1,159 yards and five touchdowns. And he can do even better this season if running back Jamaal Charles can stay healthy and offer a threat in the running game.
Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel's job just got a whole lot easier with Bowe showing up. The big receiver is a phenomenal talent who can get open, has great ball skills and can make plays after the catch.
Without him, the Chiefs' passing game was dead in the water. With him in uniform, Kansas City just got a lot better.