After holding out this summer, Bowe finally came around to signing his $9.5 million franchise tag. What he has done this season has only given further credence to his bid for a bigger contract.
Bowe’s 626 yards and three touchdowns this season make him the most productive receiver on the Kansas City roster. At 6’2”, 221 pounds, Bowe’s size and athleticism have also caused Chiefs quarterbacks to look to him 93 times this season.
That is almost 40 more targets than any other Chiefs player.
Here are five teams that could use a physical playmaker like Bowe next season.
Miami is a haven for displaced receivers.
They took a chance on Chad Johnson earlier this year, only to cut him in the preseason. Those who remained on the roster include Brian Hartline and Devon Bess.
Hartline has gained 790 yards on 53 receptions while Bess has 48 catches for 586 yards, but the two have combined for just two scores this season.
Bowe has surpassed that production alone this season.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill may be inexperienced, but he's still putting together a solid rookie campaign. Surround him with a weapon like Bowe and Miami's offense will be a force in 2013.
A move to Pittsburgh would reunite Bowe with Steelers offensive coordinator and former Kansas City head coach, Todd Haley.
Though Pittsburgh has a number of top wide receivers, Bowe would fit well into a system with Haley.
Bowe’s best season came under Haley in 2010, when he averaged 16.1 yards per catch and caught 15 touchdowns, helping Kansas City win the AFC West.
The Steelers receiving core is anchored by Mike Wallace, who leads the team with six touchdown receptions this season. Tied for that mark is tight end Heath Miller.
Although he is smaller than Miller, Bowe still has a build similar to that of a tight end. This would let Haley utilize Bowe the same way while also giving him the opportunity to go over the top as a receiver.
The New York Jets' receiving corps is devoid of a top receiver.
The addition of Santonio Holmes in 2010 has resulted in more harm in the locker room than good on the field. Moreover, he is more of a No. 2 receiver and his best years came in Pittsburgh when he was utilized as such.
2012 draft pick Stephen Hill has been underwhelming as a rookie, with just 14 receptions for 196 yards.
Right now, the Jets’ best receiver has been Jeremy Kerley, who has 38 receptions and 596 yards, but only two touchdowns.
The Jets are 23rd in scoring offense and 29th in receiving yards, and would benefit greatly from a more powerful receiver like Bowe rather than a finesse receiver like Holmes and Kerley.
The Chiefs have a reasonable foundation that stems from head coach Romeo Crennel that includes Matt Cassel and Jamaal Charles.
However, the lynchpin of it all is Bowe.
His ability to get downfield can help set up Charles and vice versa. The next-best receiver for the Chiefs is the versatile Dexter McCluster, but he is not nearly dangerous enough to draw attention away from Charles.
This week, Bowe even told the Kansas City Star that he wants to retire a Chief, that the decision is “a no-brainer.”
If the option is there, the Chiefs would do well to give Bowe his due this offseason.
Just down the road from Kansas City, the St. Louis Rams could find a double-threat with Bowe and Danny Amendola.
Amendola has been a breakout player at times in the past four seasons, though he has proven to be a bit injury-prone.
Bowe is a middle-of-the-field threat, with Amendola going up the sidelines. They do a lot of the same things, but their attributes and instincts put them in position to make these plays differently.
With arguably two top-tier wide receivers in Bowe and Amendola, the Rams would be able to foster secondary receivers like Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens.