Remember last week when Cleveland Browns wideout Dwayne Bowe spoke to the media for the first time since he was a healthy scratch in the team’s loss to the Oakland Raiders? Bowe – getting $9 million guaranteed this season – seemed to be pretty oblivious to the fact he was receiving a ton of criticism outside the walls of the locker room. He sounded stunned to hear about reports the team might be looking to cut him, as if this was coming out of nowhere.
Not to worry, Bowe assured. Come the next game against the San Diego Chargers, he was going to be on the field showcasing his talents.
The result? One target, an incomplete pass. If you bought a ticket to the Bowe talent showcase, you left the game disappointed.
For the season, Bowe has now only played in two games, and seen just two passes thrown in his direction. Neither of them have been caught. Any other team might cut a player who’s providing such terrible returns, regardless of his price tag.
Not the Browns, though. For some reason, despite Bowe essentially doing nothing but filling a roster spot, Cleveland is still sticking with him, and embarrassing itself while doing it.
Who knows what kind of leverage Bowe has over the Browns coaching staff besides his guaranteed money. Does he have incriminating photos? Does he know dark secrets of his higher ups?
It all sounds crazy, obviously. At the same time, why else have the Browns refused to cut Bowe?
Instead of just cutting losses, coach Mike Pettine keeps giving nonsensical answers whenever he’s asked about Bowe’s awful season. For a prime example, just look at what he provided today when asked about the unproductive wideout.
“He’s got to be out there working, showing us he’s working to perfect his craft,” said Pettine. “He’s working to get back.”
Get back from what?! Bowe said last week he in fact wasn’t dealing with a hamstring issue as was reported. He’s apparently not injured, insisting it’s all mental. Yet, we’re supposed to be OK with the fact the team’s No. 1 receiver, in his ninth season in the NFL, has to “work to perfect his craft.”
Apparently, there’s still plenty of work to do there. Even after receiver Brian Hartline was sidelined mid-game last Sunday with an injury, Bowe still barely touched the field. Clearly this is just because he just isn’t “back” yet, right?
As you can see, this is a disaster. The Browns gave too much money to someone who has played in two games, was benched for another and missed the only two passes thrown his way this year. However, what’s more pathetic in all of this is the fact the team still won’t move on from him.
Bowe has been the utter definition of useless this season. And yet, there he is on the active roster. Despite the fact he showed up to camp out of shape. Despite the fact he has yet to catch a ball this year. Despite the fact his craft apparently still needs perfecting.
Remember, this is the same coaching staff who curtailed running back Terrance West‘s carries last year because of a bad week of practice, even if he had a productive game the weekend before. This, of course, was before they traded him this offseason despite picking him in the third round of last year’s draft.
Bowe, however, is apparently immune to this skepticism. He has to be, right? This is how it looks if it takes multiple weeks to get in fine form, yet he continues to get nothing but vague comments from Pettine regarding the work he has to put in.
There’s no getting around it anymore; Bowe should’ve been cut weeks ago. He’s clearly well past his prime, and continues to prove he brings nothing to the table for Cleveland. The coaching staff can keep claiming it’s a long season all it wants, but nobody’s buying it.
Well, nobody except Bowe, that is. If we hear from him again this week, expect to get the same quotes. That he’s just trying to make sure he’s 100% ready. That his talents will be on full display this Sunday.
Of course, the majority of the people who hear this will realize it’s all talk, fully expecting another day where Bowe wastes a roster spot. Unfortunately, it’s seeming more and more likely the Browns are not in this majority as they continue to stick with a player who just plain doesn’t contribute.
Bottom line: the whole Bowe saga is a circus, but Cleveland is a willing participant in the chaos by refusing to cut ties with him.