As I said on Total Access: #Chiefs are actively pursuing a long-term deal with WR Dwayne Bowe. They've met with his reps, want to keep him.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 15, 2013
Although it was widely believed that Bowe would be a free-agent casualty under former general manager Scott Pioli, this new regime—headlined by Reid—is keen on keeping Bowe around and even liked him coming out of LSU in the 2007 NFL draft (as Rapoport reported via NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal).
Bowe has been the top target in Kansas City for the past three seasons, but it hasn't come without some minor bumps in the road. In addition, Sports Illustrated's Peter King reported that scouts were afraid of the "baggage" that came with Bowe in any potential deal (via NFL.com).
In this regard, it's a small surprise that the Chiefs are initiating discussions concerning a long-term deal with Bowe, since it's unclear what the true market is for him.
A six-year veteran, Bowe has played all of his NFL seasons in Kansas City. While he has a reputation for losing focus and dropping big passes in key moments, his statistics reveal that he has been very consistent on the outside during his career.
Since his rookie season, he has averaged around 70 receptions, 900 yards and seven touchdowns per season—numbers that place him among consideration as an elite WR.
Should Kansas City make Bowe its top free agent priority?
A down year in 2012—59 receptions, 801 yards and just three touchdowns—has led to a potential pitfall in his free-agent status, but some of that decline can be attributed to the poor quarterback play between Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn.
Kansas City needs a number of upgrades at key positions, but it appears it doesn't value free agents like Mike Wallace or Wes Welker higher than its own free-agent candidate. Either way, a potential KC-Bowe reunion is an exciting early storyline of the NFL offseason.