A Monday afternoon in Kansas City is normally nothing special. People are at work and kids are at school, typically a slow day for Kansas Citians. March 4th was anything but a normal Monday for Kansas City. The Kansas City Chiefs resigned punter Dustin Colquitt and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, and placed the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert.
Colquitt’s five year, $18.75 million deal with $8.9 million guaranteed, has made him the highest-paid punter in the NFL. Throughout his eight year career, Colquitt has punted the ball 657 times with an average of 44.7 yards per punt. 250 of these punts have pinned opponents inside the twenty yard line. He also attended the Pro Bowl last season for the first time in his career.
Dwayne Bowe will remain in Kansas City after agreeing to a five year deal worth $56 million with $26 million guaranteed. Although his performance last year was sub-par in terms of scoring, catching only three touchdowns, Bowe was still able to reel in 59 passes despite quarterback issues plaguing the Chiefs all season. The Chiefs must be confident that their incoming quarterback, Alex Smith, will be able to help jumpstart Bowe’s performance from a lackluster last season to a renewed outbreak this year.
Branden Albert will get a one year, fully guaranteed $9.8 million contract, and has the opportunity to work out a long-term deal with the Chiefs before July 15. In addition to his contract, the Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Albert, mere minutes before the assigned deadline.
With the franchise tag being placed on Albert, questions have been raised regarding the Chiefs first-overall pick of the 2013 draft. Left tackle Luke Joekel from Texas A&M seemed the easy pick, but with Albert staying, the Chiefs have new options open to them. They may go ahead and take Joekel, looking to move either him or other players around on the offensive line. Another option is to trade their pick, similar to the St. Louis Rams last year, and look to receive more picks to gain more development-needed players.
Any way you look at it, the Chiefs have made many much-needed changes this season, these contract-renewals being the most recent of their off-season cleaning. Will this new and improved Chiefs team’s gambles on a nearly entirely new system pay off? Only time will tell, as the start of the season is still an agonizing six months away. The Chiefs’ first game is on September 8.
On a side note, the Chiefs released right tackle Eric Winston this week, who made headlines last season with his rant against Chiefs’ fans. Early since his release, other AFC West teams have shown interest in him, especially the Raiders. He is sure to find a much more mellow and accepting fan base awaiting him.
While I am not an expert on free agency and the draft, I am entitled to my opinion. So here it is. The Kansas City Chiefs could not have picked a better year to get the first pick of the draft. I mean heck, there are tons of elite quarterbacks this year. Just our luck. The only year that would have been better would have been the 2007 draft. Heck we would probably be in the Super Bowl with JaMarcus Russell marching down the field. With all jokes aside Chiefs fans are starting to feel like the Royals. Last year there were organization changers like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III and this year there are… defensive tackles and offensive tackles. Although football is a game won in the trenches, teams must have a quarterback to manage the game.
With the recent releases of Kevin Boss and Steve Breaston, the Chiefs will be looking to fill these holes in the draft or free agency. Since the draft is too hard to predict from this far out, I will look at free agents. For starters, the Chiefs need to wrap up Dwayne Bowe or sign a top receiver such as Mike Wallace, Wes Welker, or Danny Amendola. In my opinion, the Chiefs should do everything they can to sign Amendola. After watching him every week since I live in St. Louis now I can say he is more than a game changer. Although Amendola has battled nagging injuries the past season, when healthy Sam Bradford targeted him on which seemed like every passing down. My last thought on the wide receiver position is the Chiefs should look to steal the humble Titus Young. While Young may not be Calvin Johnson, he does have playmaking abilities. If Andy Reid could discipline Young and keep him focused he could be a successful slot receiver to open the field for Bowe on the outside.
Now here is my Madden experience talking. The Chiefs should trade down to around the eighth pick and draft Sharrif Floyd. Mel Kiper and I actually agree that Floyd would be able to be the sheriff on the defensive line that they have been looking for in Dontari Poe and Glenn Dorsey. By trading down the Chiefs would be able to acquire additional picks that could be used to trade for an additional second round pick. With that pick they could take Matt Barkley or Geno Smith if either are available.
What the Chiefs actually do in the draft all depends on if the Chiefs use their franchise tag on Brandon Albert. If they do they will most likely lose Dwayne Bowe to free agency that would kill the already lackluster passing game. If the Chiefs decide to put the tag on Bowe they will lose Brandon Albert. I think the Chiefs can’t afford to lose Bowe because they will not be able to sign an elite receiver to replace him. The Chiefs would be able to then draft offensive tackle Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M. Lastly, the reason I have yet to address the need at the quarterback position is because I don’t see major changes. I would not be surprised to see Cassel taking snaps under center next year. The other option that looks to be coming to front of conversation is signing trading for Nick Foles who Reid picked last year with the Eagles. Reid clearly raves about this kid because of his size and potential. The Eagles have made it known that it will take a big package trade to pry him away. This is why I think the Chiefs need to do there homework and attempt to find a Tom Brady or at least a poor mans Tom Brady late in the draft and let him learn by seeing all the mistakes Matt Cassel will make next year. Last option for the Chiefs at quarterback will not happen but I would like to see the Chiefs take a look at Ryan Mallett who is backing up Tom Brady.
The Kansas City Chiefs are playing their first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. You should expect the Chiefs to play their starters for 2 series. I don’t expect big things, for the starters, on either side of the ball. The Chiefs want to get through this game without any injuries especially to the starters. On offense I want to see how the timing is between Matt Cassell and the receivers especially Jon Baldwin. For the starters on defense I want to see them play with intensity and not allow any points.
After the first quarter the back-ups will be playing for the rest of the game. During this part I mainly watch the rookies and see how they are adjusting to the NFL. The rookie I am most excited to see play is Dontari Poe. My expectations for him this game is not that high because it is his first game as a pro. However, I hope to see him flash his potential. Even though Dontari is the main rookie I am watching there is a myriad of other rookies that I will keep my eye on. I am especially interested to see the rookie wide receivers play. The rookie wide receivers that I will keep my eye on are Devon Wylie, Josh Bellamy, and Junior Hemingway. I am not sure whether Junior will be playing tonight due to Injury.
The last two players I will be watching is Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi. Brady and Ricky are in the middle of a quarterback battle fighting to become the back up. I am more excited to see Ricky Stanzi play then Brady because I want to see if Ricky has made any progress following last season.
Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe wants a monster contract. He wants his salary to be comparable to that of Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald, Lions’ Calvin Johnson, and Texans’ Andre Johnson. And it looks increasingly unlikely he’ll get his wish granted while dawning a tomato red Chiefs uniform.
When the deadline to sign franchise players to a long-term contract came and went, Bowe and Chiefs remained in a dispute that, according to numerous sources, was never close to being resolved. The Chiefs are unwilling to give into Bowe’s demands and offer him a hefty contract, while Bowe believes his extremely consistent play over the past 5 seasons has earned him an immense payday.
Kansas City wants Bowe to be motivated under a one-year contract, and the harsh reality is, they are probably very comfortable with the high probability that Bowe leaves in 2013. The Chiefs could still use the franchise tag on Bowe next year, but that would mean his salary would climb to 11.4 million for the 2013 season. The possibility of Kansas City giving Bowe the franchise tag in 2013 is certainly there. But if that doesn’t expose their lack of trust in Bowe, I don’t know what does.
While Bowe does try to be the best player he can be, sometimes a little too hard, he comes off as extremely unreliable, very difficult to read, and consumed by his own ego. Bowe has dropped too many balls in the 4th quarter of close games, ran the wrong route too many times in clutch situations, and has displayed immaturity on and off the field frequently.
Bowe’s report card contains as many question marks and sad faces as checks and smiles. Which is why it was hard to know how authentic his good-soldier performances were the last two years. Maybe they’re legit. Maybe they’re the act of a man who wanted a contract that pays him $40 million to $50 million guaranteed.
That was Bowe’s sin in all this: He seems to want so badly to be a superstar immediately that he’s not willing to wait for it to occur naturally. He wants to be a cover boy and an icon, and he wants it now. As Larry Johnson learned, Kansas City isn’t always the best place for that. As Kansas City and the Chiefs learned, a talented athlete who can’t fit into the organizational and geographical mind-set, usually finds his way out of town.
Those of you criticizing Scott Pioli for not coming to an agreement with Bowe and his advisors need to step back and look at Pioli’s body of work. Pioli has done a good job of keeping the homegrown talent here in Kansas City for the most part, as both Brandon Flowers and Tamba Hali signed long-term contract extensions to stay in town last summer. Jamaal Charles and Derrick Johnson both have very team-friendly contracts and both will remain in Chiefs uniforms for the foreseeable future.
However, critics of Pioli for being a cheap owner are certainly justified. Pioli never seems interested in signing high-quality players unless the player comes at a significant discount. When fullback Le’ron McClain was a free agent last summer, the Chiefs never expressed interest in McClain until his value dropped dramatically. Fullback was a position of need for the Chiefs, but Pioli would only fill the need if the financial ramifications were minimal.
Earlier this year, the Chiefs passed on bringing back cornerback Brandon Carr, a homegrown player that developed into a very solid NFL cornerback. Carr flew the coup and signed with the Dallas Cowboys for a ludicrous 60 million dollars over 5 years. Carr is worth no where near close to that type of money, but it would have been nice to see Pioli and his staff at least attempt to keep Carr in a Chiefs uniform.
The Chiefs have been preparing for life after Bowe for quite some time. They drafted Jonathan Baldwin, a physical possession receiver, in the 1st round of the 2011 draft. He would likely be looked upon to fill Bowe’s shoes shall he leave Kansas City. Hopefully Bowe realizes that he can be a superstar, but only in the right system and environment. I’m just not sure that environment will be Kansas City.
Many fans who have heard Dwayne Bowe saying he will not attend OTA’s, think instantly this is another episode to the “D-Bowe” saga. The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on the disgruntle wide receiver this past off-season.Being franchise tagged comes along with a one year contract and a salary equal to the average of the top five highest paid players at his position. Bowe is due $9.5 million dollars this year, which is no chump change. Bowe says he will not attend camp until a deal is made, which is unlikely because the Chiefs do not have the money right now to extend Bowe’s current contract. In my opinion, I thought Bowe should have got an extension before Cassel did. However, here we are and fans are wondering if the Chiefs would just be better off without the drama of having Bowe. We see this continuously throughout the NFL when players are placed under the franchise tag.
Drew Brees in New Orleans and Wes Welker in New England, both were placed under the franchise tag and both have said through their agent that they will not attend OTA’s until a long term contract is reached. Many people with an outside perspective will strongly disagree with these players. They will call into the local radio stations and ask, “why in the (fill in your own explicit word) would you turn down $9.5 million, especially in times like these when the people who come support you at games are struggling everyday!” Though I believe that is a valid point, I do not the think fans understand the situation these players are in. People do not understand that the franchise tag is used when a team currently at the time do not have the money to give them a contract extension or the ownership thinks it will be to costly to give the player a bigger contract. Some General Manager’s use the franchise tag as a way to put a player on the market open to anyone who may be interested in a trade. The players are put in a bad spot because the franchise tag only guarantees a one year contract. Though they do get paid as a top five player at their position, there is no guarantee the team will re-sign them the year after. What if the player gets hurt? What if he does not have the season the front office thought he would have?
The team can release him and get no cap penalty whatsoever, and the player would be looking for another place to play. The franchise tag gives the front office all the leverage the following year during contract neogotiations and the players may not get the money they deserved the year before. Players holdout not to be distractions, but to gain security. As we all have witnessed, the NFL is always changing and things can happen that can alter the lives of these players. Under a one year contract if a player gets hurt, the team could say, “oh well” and release him. The proper way to use the franchise tag is to allow the agent and the front office more time to negotiate a long term contract. If the tender was not given and signed, then the player would have been eligible for free agency and would gain the ability to go to any team they desired.
In Dwayne Bowe’s situation, the Chiefs should be doing all they can to get a long term contract for Bowe. Many fans question his consistency and productivity, but he has been the Chiefs number one receiver for three years now. We have seen that he can produce and I think he would help the Chiefs develop into one of the top receiving cores in the NFL. If the Chiefs are looking for money, Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson’s contracts are up at the end of the year but that does not help the Chiefs now. Maybe Cassel wants Bowe as bad as they need him, and he will go restructure his contract to get Bowe the contract extension he deserves. If the Chiefs can get Bowe into camp, there will be money available the next off-season because I do not think Dorsey and Jackson will get a contract any were near the amount they got for their rookie contracts, unless they go else where. But still there is the risk that Bowe has an outstanding year under the franchise tag, and he gets numerous top dollar offers for more interesting destinations.
This will only drive the price up more to keep Bowe and next year the Chiefs will not have the first chance to get him because he will be a unrestricted free agent. Baldwins potential is still unknown in my opinion and Breaston is not a typical number one receiver. With that being said, the Chiefs need to find a way to sign Bowe to a long term contract before the season starts. His play will be a determining factor if the Chiefs offense becomes more explosive over the next couple of years.