The Kansas City Chiefs training camp is in its fourth day, but the most notable story about the events from St. Joseph are still about who’s not there. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe remains a holdout and while things could break at any time, there are no public rumors about a possible reconciliation between him and the front office. While a situation like this is never a good thing, I think the high cards are clearly held by the team.
Let’s begin with the obvious—because of his franchise-tag designation, if Dwayne Bowe wants to play in the NFL in 2012, it’s going to be as a Kansas City Chief, unless vague rumors about a deal shipping him to the Pittsburgh Steelers for another disgruntled wide receiver, in this case Mike Wallace, come to fruition. At this point, I can’t possibly fathom what rationale the Steelers have for such a move, so it’s best to assume Bowe’s options are return as a Chief or hold out.
This alone is reason to believe there’s no cause for concern, but I would further add that Bowe’s absence gives #2 wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin an opportunity for some reps as the top wideout. While Baldwin is not as good as Bowe right now, the former’s upside is much higher. If a worst-case scenario develops and the holdout goes into the regular season, is it that unthinkable that Kansas City could win with a passing game built around an emerging Baldwin, Steve Breaston as the #2 man and Tony Moeaki at tight end? If the Chiefs were a high-powered passing offense that might look silly, but considering the ground game is the bread-n-butter, it’s certainly realistic.
Finally let’s come to Bowe himself. He’s a veteran, he’s played with quarterback Matt Cassell for two seasons and training camp at this point does little more than expose him to injury. There’s no reason, so long as Bowe is staying in shape on his own, that he can’t jump right back into the offense when he’s ready.
Bowe’s holdout is a distraction and not the ideal, but at least right now, there’s bigger issues on the plate of head coach Romeo Crennel.
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