When the New England Patriots reportedly offered their franchise receiver, Wes Welker, a two-year deal that was less than what he'd received should he be franchised the next two seasons, he did what many unhappy NFL players do if they don't get the coin they want from their employers – he cried to the media. Though he did sign his franchise tender and is working out with the team.
To his credit, Bowe's camp has been very silent since the NFL Draft. At that time, rumblings ran rampant the Chiefs tried to move Bowe to another NFL team. Pioli denied that rumor. But the problem with whatever side of the fence you sit - in regards to the validity or denial of the rumors - nobody wanted Bowe.
But all that's a mute point now.
Unfortunately, Bowe is caught in a soft market for wide receivers. He's not going to get that mega deal he desires – at least not in Kansas City or anywhere else for that matter. If the Patriots felt that Welker's value is worth roughly $16-20 million over two years then Bowe has no choice but to accept those numbers as contract Gospel.
Suddenly the Chiefs are in the catbird seat. And that's not a good thing either if fans hope to see this situation resolved soon. In laymen terms, Bowe won't sign his franchise tender until the start of training camp in St. Joseph. And that's unfortunate for both sides in this dispute.
Patriots low-ball offer to Wes Welker hurts Dwayne Bowe in getting big payday from KC.
Bob Levey / Getty Images
Well Bowe needs to get a reality check and to some degree so do the Chiefs. Both sides need each other. This offense is better with a happy Bowe and the organization won't completely shed its budget conscious label until they sign Bowe to a long-term contract.
And that's important.
There is some debate that Bowe isn't in the same class as Welker. But he's pretty darn close. And if that's the case, Bowe should jump at the chance to put himself in a position to hope or ask for the same five-year deal that Eagles running back LeSean McCoy received on Thursday that included $23 million in guarantees.
But the problem at hand for Pioli no matter the money he offers Bowe - is the Chiefs top receiver is still an enigma.
He's either brilliant or not so brilliant. He either makes the circus catch or misses the gimmies. He has the ability to be an average receiver or an All Pro every season. It's really all up to Bowe. And he's not helping his chances to become the latter by refusing to sign his tender until mid to late July.
Pioli is wise to play hardball with Bowe because he's never put a string of years together that would garner receiving top dollar from the Chiefs. Still Pioli would be wise to forgo letting this stalemate drag out into the regular season by reaching a compromise and get a deal done this month.
On the flip side, if Bowe does not want to sign a new contract because he feels hurt, slighted or doesn't want to play for the Chiefs anymore, then Pioli really can't do anything else but franchise his top receiver the next two years.
Should Pioli be forced into that direction, Bowe would still earn roughly $23 million in 2012 and 2013 combined. If Bowe rolls that dice and doesn't take the money now by negotiating in good faith, he won't be a free agent until 2014. And at that point, nobody knows which category he might fall into – Bust or Superstar.
Either way neither side can afford to make a mistake in this situation. So it just might be best for everyone, if they settle their differences now.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Putting your heart aside is Dwayne Bowe deserving of a long term contract with the Chiefs?
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