Dwayne Bowe Released by Browns: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2016

May 26, 2015; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (80) during organized team activities at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns signed wide receiver Dwayne Bowe last offseason to be their go-to guy, but after a disappointing 2015, the team released him Wednesday.    

Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com first reported Bowe would be released by the Browns. The team later made the move official through a media release on its website. 

Even though the Browns inked Bowe to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million with $9 million guaranteed last year, according to Spotrac, he was virtually invisible in 2015 with just five catches in seven games. 

Andrew Brandt of ESPN noted Bowe's $9 million compensation last year was greater than New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's, who made $8 million.

The Kansas City Chiefs made Bowe a first-round draft pick in 2007. The former LSU Tiger played the first eight seasons of his career in Kansas City and made the Pro Bowl in 2010 with 1,162 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches.

Bowe, who turned 31 last September, didn't start a game for the Browns in 2015. 

ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler noted there was apparently a lack of communication between Bowe and the Browns about the move:

Eric Eager of Pro Football Focus wrote after Week 8 last season that Bowe was tied with the Miami Dolphins' Greg Jennings as one of the 10 worst free-agent signings of the season:

What’s worse, a veteran receiver playing terribly enough (Jennings has only 10 receptions on 18 targets with three drops) to get benched five weeks into the season (10, 28, and four snaps in Weeks 6, 7 and 8, respectively), or a veteran receiver (Bowe) who hasn’t shown enough to even make it onto the field for more than 19 snaps, or register a reception for a team with two wins?

While Cleveland certainly wouldn't consider Bowe's signing a success, it turned out to be a shrewd move on his part, per NFL on ESPN:

The Browns are enduring a disastrous offseason thus far. They have lost offensive linemen Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz, wide receiver Travis Benjamin and safety Tashaun Gipson from a team that was already coming off a 3-13 season. Parting with troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel can be looked at as more of a positive than a negative. 

Losing Bowe doesn't sting the way some other losses do, but the Browns are a franchise tearing everything down in order to build it back up. It's a strategy that won't be easy to watch for a few years, but it might pay off down the road.