Chiefs not panicking over Bowe's absence

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- If I had to judge an early winner in the Dwayne Bowe-Kansas City Chiefs standoff, it would have to be the team.


Because the Chiefs are moving along business as usual as the receiver continues to stay away. In my first day around the Chiefs this summer, I haven’t gotten the sense that they are overly fretting about Bowe's absence. The focus is on hosting the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 9 -- not on Bowe’s whereabouts.

The offense is learning the system of new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and it is apparently learning it quickly and successfully. The first-team offense scored two touchdowns in two possessions in the preseason opener, a 27-17 victory over Arizona on Friday, and all three offensive units performed well in the game.

Second-year receiver Jon Baldwin has been a camp star; fellow veteran receivers Steve Breaston and Terrance Copper have been model professionals. All are clicking with quarterback Matt Cassel, as are young slot receivers Dexter McCluster and Devon Wylie.

Coach Romeo Crennel has said often that he is only worrying about the players who are in camp. I believe that. I don’t get the feeling Crennel and Daboll are pulling their hair out at night because Bowe is not ready to sign his franchise tender.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the Chiefs would prefer to have Bowe in camp. He’s a talented player and he’d make the offense better. But they aren’t waiting for him.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs feel the same way about Bowe’s holdout as I do. It’s pointless. There really isn’t much to be gained for Bowe, who can’t sign a new deal until after the season.

He has to perform well in 2012 if he is going to get a new deal, whether it’s from the Chiefs or from another team in unrestricted free agency (if the Chiefs don’t franchise him again if they can't agree on an extension).

The longer Bowe -- who is expected to show up shortly before the start of the regular season -- waits to report, the more difficult it will be for him to have a great season. He has had issues with coming into camp in shape before and it is going to take him time to get into football shape. Plus, he has to learn Daboll’s style. But if Bowe ends his holdout soon, he has a chance to be a major factor come Week 1.

If not, his chances of making an impact early in the season will dissipate quickly -- and that means if he heads to free agency next year, he will have more dings on a resume that already has a few blotches.

While Bowe is risking future earning,s the Chiefs refuse to stand around and wait for him.