Should Miami Dolphins Trade for Dwayne Bowe?

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Should Miami Dolphins Trade for Dwayne Bowe?
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Is Dwayne Bowe a realistic trade target?

Dwayne Bowe, a former Pro-Bowl wide receiver and Miami native, is looking for a way out of Kansas City.

The Chiefs, who could watch Bowe leave in free agency next year, could be open to a trade, and the Miami Dolphins need a wide receiver.

If you put two and two together, you get a new alpha receiver in Miami right?

All it requires is for the Dolphins to give up a (high) draft pick, and they have a proven franchise receiver again.

It makes sense, but it isn’t a deal that the Dolphins should sign off on.

That isn’t to say the Dolphins should not be interested in Dwayne Bowe. Who wouldn’t be interested in acquiring a 6-2, 220 lbs, former Pro-Bowl receiver with 39 career touchdowns to his name?

Bowe is the sort of dominant receiver who would make plays for Miami, give a new, big, target for Ryan Tannehill, and who could open up the field for the Dolphins’ other receivers.

His stats indicate he is making plays this season (34 receptions, 427 yards, 3 touchdowns), even with Matt Cassel at quarterback, and at the age of 28, he’s hardly in the twilight of his career and has plenty of years ahead of him.

However, his time in Kansas City looks to be coming to an end, as he goes in search of a big new contract. He will almost certainly hit the open market in free agency next year, and he is only with the Chiefs this year because they franchise tagged him.

However, the cost of tagging Bowe again to keep him in Kansas City through 2013 will be high—probably too high—and that means letting Bowe walk in 2013 unless the Chiefs can find a trade partner.

Is Miami that trade partner? Conventional wisdom suggests not.

Bowe’s franchise tag means that his deal cannot be reworked until the end of the year, so even if he leaves Kansas, any trade for Bowe would only guarantee he is on your team until the end of the season, when he would be free to talk to other teams in free agency.

Essentially, you would be giving up a draft pick for a player who may only be with your franchise for another four months.

Unless the Chiefs are giving Bowe away for a late-round pick, something which seems very unlikely, then Jeff Ireland would be best served waiting for Bowe’s contract to expire and talking to him in free agency.

Ireland is a notoriously tough negotiator too, as witnessed on Hard Knocks when he traded Vontae Davis for a second-round pick, having pushed the Colts up from their first offer of a sixth-rounder. It’s hard to see the Chiefs getting a good deal from him.

With Bowe likely to become a free agent in 2013, why give up picks now when you can sign him next year without compensation?

The receiver would, however, require a big contract next year. He wants to get paid. But he was born in Miami, and the Dolphins would hope that Bowe gives them a home-town discount to return to South Florida.

Should the Dolphins Trade for Bowe?

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The money to sign a wide receiver would be available, and although he wouldn’t come cheap, a big acquisition to the receiving corps like Bowe would help the team and its new franchise quarterback.

When you consider that Brian Hartline, one of Tannehill’s favourite targets, is also a free agent next year, Bowe would more than make up for that potential loss too—although the Dolphins may wish to have both on the team.

With only two recognised receivers on the roster, in Hartline and Davone Bess, adding another is imperative.

However, the reason there are only two recognised wideouts on the team is largely down to Head Coach Joe Philbin, who decided to “clean up” the locker room.

Brandon Marshall was traded shortly after his arrival, and Chad Johnson was released following a number of minor indiscretions and a serious brush with the law.

Bowe, meanwhile, comes with baggage, having previously served a four-game suspension for taking a banned diuretic and has a lengthy contract hold-out to his name. With Philbin intent on keeping trouble away from Miami, there is a serious question as to whether he’d sign off on a deal that paid big bucks to a receiver with a big ego and prior character concerns.

Despite circumstantial evidence suggesting that Bowe will land in South Florida, and even if Philbin agreed to explore the possibility of signing the receiver, there are still other options that may seem more attractive to Miami.

Big name receivers like Keenan Allen, Justin Hunter, Terrance Williams and Robert Woods will all be entering the draft and would come a lot cheaper than Bowe, while there will be other proven big name receivers who could hit the open market.

Green Bay’s Greg Jennings could be a free agent and has worked with Philbin in the past, while the Steelers’ Mike Wallace would fit Miami’s needs perfectly with his speed and ability to stretch the field.

Miami may decide that another receiver fits its needs better than Bowe, and if that is the case, the Dolphins may decide to pass on him altogether next year too.

Right now, a trade for Dwayne Bowe doesn’t make much sense for Miami. Why give up something for him now when you could sign him next year for nothing?

It certainly wouldn’t make sense to trade away a high-round draft pick for someone who would be a free agent in 2013 anyway, and it doesn’t seem like something Jeff Ireland would do considering his trades of Marshall and Davis have helped acquire draft picks.

It would be unwise to bet against Bowe landing in Miami when the bidding starts in free agency, as he will certainly be on their radar, but it is impossible to predict what Miami will do in free agency just seven weeks into this season.

If the Dolphins want a top NFL receiver, Dwayne Bowe fits the bill.

If Joe Philbin can be convinced he won’t unbalance the locker room, and if Jeff Ireland can get him for the right price, then he could be a Dolphin in 2013, but the Dolphins should forget about the possibility of Bowe as a Dolphin in 2012.

Trading a pick for a player who will hit the open market in 2013 just doesn’t make sense.

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