Dwayne Bowe's Future Unknown in Kansas City, Receiver Likely out for the Season

Christopher HansenNFL AnalystDecember 11, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 12:  Dwayne Bowe #82 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks for running room after a third quarter catch while playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 12, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs are not a good team, and one of their two impact offensive players left last Sunday’s game with a rib injury. Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles have been the only consistently productive players on the team, and the team is terribly impaired offensively without them.

Bowe reportedly has multiple broken ribs and is likely done for the season, according to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star.

Bowe will miss Sunday’s game against Oakland and could be placed on season-ending injured reserve. If Bowe isn’t able to play another game for the Chiefs this season, last Sunday’s game could have been his last in a red jersey.

Bowe signed a one-year contract last offseason because he was designated the team’s franchise player. Bowe will hit the open market this offseason if the Chiefs don’t give him the franchise tag once again. Tagging Bowe in 2013 would escalate the amount of guaranteed money he would earn for just one season’s worth of play.

Bowe would likely sit out training camp if he is tagged again, which would prevent him from developing chemistry and timing with a new quarterback. The Chiefs have a lot of incentive to make a decision on Bowe quickly and either give him a long-term contract or let him leave in free agency.

Bowe is 28 and still has several good years left. It’s also clear that Jon Baldwin is not ready to fill Bowe’s shoes. It would make sense to try to sign Bowe to a long-term contract prior to the franchise-tag deadline. Doing so would free the Chiefs to tag left tackle Brandon Albert if necessary.

For all that to happen, the Chiefs will need to move quickly after the season if they are going to fire Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel. A new general manager would need to be in place before any major decisions are made, and preferably a head coach would be in the fold as well.

Bowe has accounted for 17.7 percent of the Chiefs’ yards in 2012 and 18.8 percent of their touchdowns. The only player more important to the Chiefs’ offense right now is Charles. Without Bowe, the Chiefs will have to turn to Baldwin, Terrance Copper and Dexter McCluster. McCluster has been the most productive of the group, but that’s not saying much.

Pairing a rookie quarterback with a weak group of receivers would be a recipe for disaster. It’s no secret that the Chiefs will be looking for a quarterback in the draft, and having a receiver like Bowe would be a great security blanket. It’s time for the Chiefs to stop playing games with Bowe and either let him go or sign the man to a long-term contract.