Is Dwayne Bowe giving KC “Franchise Tender” production?

The Dwayne Bowe saga is over (at least for now) in Kansas City.  Bowe agreed to sign the Nonexclusive Franchise Tender of $9.5 million for the 2012 NFL Season.  The following is directly from the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA);

Nonexclusive Franchise Tender

The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position (within the categories set forth in Section 7(a) below) at which the Franchise Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year,  which average shall be calculated by:

(1) summing the amounts of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the five preceding League Years;

(2) dividing the resulting amount by the sum of the Salary Caps for the five preceding League Years (using the average of the amounts of the 2009 and 2011 Salary Caps as the Salary Cap amount for the 2010 League Year); and

(3) multiplying the resulting percentage by the Salary Cap for the upcoming League Year (e.g., when calculating the Tender for the 2012 League Year, dividing the aggregate sum of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the 2007–2011 League Years by the aggregate sum of the Salary Caps for the 2007–2011 League Years and multiplying the result by the amount of the Salary Cap for the 2012 League Year) (the “Cap Percentage Average”) (See Appendix E for an illustrative example); or

(B) 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater

Is Bowe worth the Franchise Tender?

Got it?  Let’s just say after crunching all the League’s fancy math to figure out the final number, Bowe’s own aren’t really worthy of the fully guaranteed contract coming his way.

If I’m going to pay a player the average of the Top 5 at his position, I’d hope to expect Top 5 production.  Otherwise I would want to negotiate a deal a little more commensurate with what I’ve been getting on the field.  Bowe and his agent Todd France, obviously saw his market value in a stratus that GM Scott Pioli didn’t.  Problem is Pioli doesn’t have an alternative in his receiver corps.  Bowe led the team with 81 receptions for 1159 yards and 5 TD’s in 2011, respectable numbers by any measure.  The next closest Chief receiver was Steve Breaston with 61 for 785.

Have the Chiefs gotten better at WR?

The Chiefs took two WR’s in the 2012 NFL Draft; 4th round selection Devon Wylie out of Fresno State and 7th rounder Junior Hemingway from Michigan.  Based on short/long term analysis, don’t look for either to be an answer at the position in the immediate future.  OK, some might argue that 2010 NFL Draft 2nd round pick Dexter McCluster will be in the equation, but a 5’8” receiver is a novelty, not a mainstay.  Eight yards per catch and 2 TD’s over the past two seasons is not top tier production.

So what you have is a player most likely upset that he didn’t receive a long term commitment from his original team and hopefully motivated to show the rest of the League what he thinks he’s worth in 2013.  The Chiefs better hope so.  Comparing Bowe’s production to last year’s Top 5 receivers (by total yards) they’re paying an inflated price in order to hold on to the only real threat they have at the position.

Name REC YDS AVG TD Y@C/R YAC/R DROPS 1st% 25+
C.Johnson 96 1681 17.5 16 11.8 5.7 7 80.2 17
W.Welker 122 1569 12.9 9 6.7 6.2 13 63.1 11
V.Cruz 82 1535 18.7 9 11.4 7.4 11 72.0 17
L.Fitzgerald 80 1411 17.6 8 11.3 6.4 3 76.3 17
S.Smith 79 1394 17.6 7 11.7 5.9 6 67.1 15
D.Bowe 81 1159 14.3 5 9.5 4.5 10 70.4 11

Consider too that after 2011 Kansas City was only 5.8 (24th) in Offensive Pass Efficiency, with San Diego and Oakland both at 7.2, and Denver likely to improve with the addition of Peyton Manning for 2012.  (OPE is the number one predictive statistic to winning in the NFL).

Here’s hoping for all you Chief fans that Dwayne Bowe steps up in the 2012 NFL Season and plays like the FRANCHISE player he was tagged as.  Otherwise it could be a very long year for QB Matt Cassel and the rest of the KC offense.

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