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Chiefs needed to sign Dwayne Bowe

By Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star Published: March 5, 2013

Scott Pioli has been an easy and deserved target for criticism for a lot of things, but he was a big part of this. Pioli made it clear that D-Bowe was gone, poof. They simply called him Dwayne, and made it clear he would have to work. Pioli and his coaches expected Dwayne to earn his keep, and Bowe responded with the best seasons of his career — including the league lead with 15 touchdowns in 2010.

You can argue that Bowe has been minding his manners with this contract in mind, but everybody in the NFL is playing for their next contract.

Keep in mind that Bowe's production — in the last three years he's ninth in touchdowns and 12th in catches and yards among all NFL receivers — has come with some of the worst quarterbacks in pro football. If you have a weak stomach you might want to skip the rest of this sentence, but here is a list of the starting quarterbacks since Bowe's arrival in Kansas City: Damon Huard, Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn.

They range from decent backups to private-sector employees, and Bowe is still the Chiefs' only reliable offensive player besides Charles. Alex Smith will be Bowe's first experience with a good quarterback.

Bowe isn't one of the best five receivers in football. Might not even be one of the best 10. But he's in that debate, and the truth is the Chiefs didn't have much choice in this. They needed Bowe more than he needed them.

There is some risk in giving Bowe a pile of money, but there is more risk in letting him walk. There are no perfect players, and the Chiefs are much better with Bowe's quirks than without his talents.

If nothing else, it's nice to see the Chiefs making decisions based on football ability rather than manufactured agendas.

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