INDIANAPOLIS – As we thought, don’t expect to see Dwayne Bowe playing anywhere but in Kansas City in 2012.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Chiefs plan to give Bowe the franchise tag if the two sides cannot come to an agreement on a long-term deal. The deadline to give a player the franchise tag is March 5. The receiver franchise tag is $9.5 million.
It has been expected that Bowe would be given the franchise tag once the Chiefs signed former Oakland cornerback Stanford Routt on Monday. Kansas City's other high-profile free agent is cornerback Brandon Carr. The Chiefs have repeatedly said they want him back, but it is unlikely he will return and it doesn't make sense for Kansas City to give Carr the franchise tag.
So, instead of having Bowe and Carr, the Chiefs will likely have Bowe and Routt.
Even if Bowe is franchised, expect the Chiefs to try to extend his contract at some point in the next year. If not, he’ll be eligible to be a free agent again next year.
The decision to franchise Bowe also affects San Diego. Receiver Vincent Jackson is a free agent and he is not expected to be given the franchise tag. The Chargers want to re-sign him, but he is expected to go to the open market first. With Bowe out of the way, the market for Jackson will get even more competitive.