Earlier today the Cleveland Browns officially released Wide Receiver Dwayne Bowe. After signing with the team last offseason with the hope he would emerge as the teams number one receiver, Bowe ended the year with just 53 yards and 5 catches. Even more alarming that the Browns effectively paid Bowe $1.8M per catch and over $1.2M per game after he signed a $12.5 million two-year deal….ouch.
As disappointing as his spell in Cleveland was, he could have one more lifeline before the curtain closes on what has been a very illustrated NFL Career…and that lifeline is in Philadelphia.
If you were to look at what the likes of Ron Brooks, Nigel Bradham, Chris Givens and Leodis McKelvin all have in common, you would end up with a list similar to this:
-Has previously played under a member of the coaching staff or alongside a current player
-Has played in either the Offensive or Defensive system previously
-Brings an attribute (eg veteran presence/experience/leadership) the unit needs
-Low risk, high reward contract
Bowe spent two of his years as a Chief with Doug Pederson as his Offensive Coordinator and during that time amassed 1,427 yards and 5 touchdowns. If there is anybody that knows the ability and remaining ceiling of Dwayne Bowe, it’s the new Head Coach of the Eagles.
Not only will he be familiar with Doug Pederson but he will most likely recognize the plays, the playbook and the style that the new Eagles Head Coach wants to implement. But even that isn’t really the main reason why the Eagles should at least consider giving him a look.
If there’s one thing the Wide Receiver core needs, it’s a veteran presence and some leadership on the field. The addition of Greg Lewis as a coach was fantastic but this is a very young group of guys.
Nelson Agholor 22
Jordan Matthews 23
Josh Huff 24
Seantavius Jones 23
Jonathan Krause 24
Freddie Martino 24
Chris Givens 26
One of the biggest criticisms last season was that after cutting Austin and the decline of Riley Cooper, the Eagles didn’t really have a Veteran receiver who could help nurture the abundance of potential that this unit has showcased throughout the last couple of seasons. The addition of 31 year old Bowe who has caught 44 touchdowns in his career would certainly tick that box.
Then of course there’s the financial side of things. The Eagles were expected to go after a Free Agent Wide Receiver but there were none who really fit what the birds were looking for or who boasted the “star” quality they seek.
After the bust in Cleveland, it’s hard to believe Bowe will be looking for a big contract. The Eagles could very easily offer him a do-or-die contract, similar to that of Bradford’s but on a much smaller scale..perhaps a $1M-$2M base salary that ranges up to £3M-$4M in incentives. A former Pro Bowl receiver who has 53 yards in a season regardless of the situation on and off the field with the Browns will not cost a lot and if there’s anyone who can strike the best deal possible, it’s Howie Roseman.
There’s no questioning Bowe’s talent or his ability to make big plays and his familiarity with both Pederson and the Offense could be huge factors here. Sure he isn’t posting the numbers he once was and he isn’t the star he was a few years ago when he became the third highest paid Wide Receiver in the NFL, but Dwayne Bowe ticks every box in the Eagles “Veteran Wide Receiver Checklist” and would surely be available at a bargain price…if that’s the case, it’s once again a low risk and high reward scenario that the birds simply shouldn’t pass on.