Dwayne Bowe Visiting Browns Tonight, Sunday
The Cleveland Browns must be interested in Dwayne Bowe as the wide receiver told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he is in Cleveland tonight to begin his visit with the team. Bowe was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs this week instead of keeping the veteran receiver on the books. Bowe would have cost $14 million against their cap. Cleveland is the first reported visit for Bowe:
Often first visits lead to signings. Teams make it apparent to a player’s agent that they are going to play in the financial ballpark and the player has interest in playing for that team. That match tends to lead to a first visit but, as the Browns have found recently, that doesn’t mean a player’s first visit will be his last.
The 6’2″, 221 pound Bowe has only played for the Chiefs in his 8 year career. He has played in 15 or more games in 6 of those 8 seasons and is the second leading receiver in their history. His production has dipped quite a bit in the last few years. He had 57 and 60 catches the last two seasons with only 673 and 754 yards to show for it.
The biggest question is how much Alex Smith and Andy Reid‘s arrival impacted Bowe. Smith doesn’t have an arm that can get the ball down field at all, instead loving to check down the ball. Bowe’s average per catch was 16.1 and 14.3 in his best seasons in 2010 and 11 but were down to 11.8 and 12.6 in his last two years under Reid with Smith.
For the Browns, Bowe would be a low end #1 in a run first offense. Bowe would join recently signed Brian Hartline, Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel to form a quality group of receivers. Bowe is unlikely to sign a big contract and wouldn’t preclude the Browns from drafting a receiver high in the draft. Bowe’s presence could actually help minimize the pressure a #1 pick would have to perform early.
GM Ray Farmer and HC Mike Pettine will have to really process Bowe’s reported attitude issues to see if he “Plays Like a Brown.” The team is very aware of the need to have a quality locker room with players who will practice hard and be a positive influence on the young players that Farmer and Pettine believe are the foundation of the team.
With his size and experience, Bowe could help provide the outside playmaking threat the Browns seem to be missing right now. He has had three seasons over 1,000 yards but the last time was in 2011. Signing Bowe to a make good, 1 year deal could keep him motivated and help the Browns get the most out of him.
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Farmer was with the Chiefs a few years ago and has an understanding of who Bowe is and how he can help the team. That the Browns are bringing him in for a visit means Farmer feels good about the fit for what the Browns are trying to do. Since Tony Grossi is bound to bring it up, since Bowe was cut by the Chiefs he wouldn’t impact the Browns getting supplemental draft picks.
A signing of Bowe would take the Browns out of the running for Cecil Shorts or other name wide receivers in free agency. They could still target a younger guy like Andre Holmes, a restricted free agent from Oakland, if they so desired. Bowe, Hartline, Hawkins, Gabriel, Holmes and a 1st round pick would be a pretty good mix of players but seems a bit unlikely.
What do you think of Dwayne Bowe as a fit for the Browns?