The Kansas City Chiefs are running out of reasons to keep Dwayne Bowe considering the trouble he keeps getting in to, the suspension he’ll have to serve and maybe more importantly, the kind of money he’s costing the team.
The only thing Bowe has going for him? He’s a very good football player, or can be when his mind is in the right place. The Chiefs are in a sad state when it comes to the depth of their wide receivers and Bowe, who caught only 57 passes for 673 yards and five touchdowns last season, is the best they have. Jamaal Charles, the running back, was the team’s leading receiver, which goes to show how important Bowe is to the team.
But now there’s a one-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy to endure. He also has a finger with a chronic injury; “Shot” as Andy Reid referred to it. And then comes the big kicker: He is signed until 2017. He still has over $10 million guaranteed money in his contract, which should pay him $52 million for the next four seasons. The Chiefs haven’t been happy about going the distance with Bowe, who is 29. Now they have an our.
Per Mike Florio, Unless Bowe’s contract specifically was negotiated to remove now-standard language voiding future guarantees in the event of a suspension, the Chiefs could make a move at any point after Bowe’s one-week exile begins, but before the moment that his salary becomes guaranteed as ‘termination pay,’ a benefit for all players with four or more years of service who are on a team’s Week One roster.
The Chiefs can cut Bowe because the suspension probably voids the remaining guaranteed money in Bowe’s contract. Bowe is owed $8.75 million this season and $1.5 million next year in guaranteed money. Cutting him under these pretenses creates $8.75 million of cap space for the Chiefs in 2014 already, which offsets the $9 million cap charge they’d take in 2015, due to the post-June 1 move.
Bowe has three seasons with more than 1000 yards in his career. He has been suspended before (four games), in 2009, for Performance enhancing drugs. He has shown up more than once to training camp out of shape. His track record tell us of someone who isn’t exactly dependable. Now the Chiefs need to make a decision about whether or not keeping a declining, expensive wide receiver is worth it considering how bad they are at the position.