How Dwayne Bowe Replaces Cameron, Gordon’s Production


The Cleveland Browns continued their roster updating, and upgrading, by signing Dwayne Bowe today. Bowe will start out as the Browns #1 receiver but could be replaced quickly in the NFL Draft in late April. While Bowe isn’t a top end #1 receiver, he is the type of player that can help the Browns be competitive this season.

We covered earlier in the week that the Browns have objectively gotten better than last season based on the players they have lost and gained via free agency. The Browns ended up last season at 7 – 9, which surprised many people. They have signed Randy Starks, Tramon Williams, Brian Hartline, Josh McCown and Bowe while losing Ahtyba Rubin, Buster Skrine, Miles Austin, Brian Hoyer, Jordan Cameron and Jabaal Sheard. All but Sheard has been directly replaced and overall PFF would say the Browns upgraded.

Which leads us to looking at Bowe as a replacement for the production of Cameron and Josh Gordon. In our comparisons, Hartline replaces Austin as the team’s #3 WR, veteran guy. So how can Bowe replace the Browns most talented two pass catching threats?

First and foremost, availability will be key for Bowe replacing their production. The last two years Bowe has played in 15 games. Last year he missed that one game due to a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Gordon played in 5 games after missing 10 due to his own substance suspension and another game as a behavioral, team suspension. Cameron played in 10 games, not finishing all of them, due to injuries last year. By simple addition, Bowe played as many games as Gordon and Cameron combined. In the upcoming season, Gordon will be out the whole year so it will be Bowe compared to Cameron in availability.

Second we need to just look at pure numbers to see if Bowe will help improve the Browns compared to what Cameron and Gordon gave them last year:


Pretty simple math here. Obviously a lot is due to how much time on the field but since Cameron and Gordon played as many games as Bowe the comparison is apt. Bowe was targeted one more time, had 12 more catches and 27 yards more than the Browns two-some. Cameron’s two TD’s was two more than either Bowe or Gordon. So while Bowe is older and “less talented” than Cameron or Gordon, he out produced them on his own last year. Decent production from a tight end would clearly combine with Bowe to out distance what Cameron and Gordon did last year. If Cameron can stay healthy next year, it will be interesting to compare him with Bowe.

The last thing to take into account is the QB that they played with. While Alex Smith is better than either Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel, he isn’t great. The Chiefs offense was not built to get wide receivers the ball, much more focused on running backs and tight ends in the passing game. The Browns offense, a run first plan, was all about the tight ends and deep throws which should have helped Cameron and Gordon. Hoyer struggled with accuracy and rookies Manziel and Connor Shaw were woefully not ready to play for different reasons.

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So the Browns have signed Dwayne Bowe to fill an important role in their passing offense. Based on last year, Bowe replaces what Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon gave the Browns. Since Gordon is suspended for all of next year it is likely that Bowe will match or exceed Cameron’s production.

The 2014 Cleveland Browns were 7 – 9 with Cameron and Gordon as their primary weapon. The 2015 Browns will have Bowe replacing both, plus whatever the Browns get from the tight end spot. Based on that alone, Bowe is a clear upgrade for the Browns and should help the team be better, even if the record doesn’t show it.

What do you think as we compared Dwayne Bowe to Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon?

Next: Ranking Players for Browns #12 Pick