- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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The deadline for Dwayne Bowe's contract extension came and went while I was on vacation.
Still, I wanted to revisit the subject now that I am back on the clock. Bowe now cannot sign a contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs until after the 2012 season because he is the franchise player.
There has been a lot of speculation that Kansas City -- which is extremely aggressive when it comes to locking up its own players -- doesn’t trust Bowe enough to give him a long-term contract. We will see how he responds this season.
If Bowe has a big year on the field and earns the team’s trust off it, he could earn himself a new contract tor buy another year as the franchise player with a hefty raise from the $9-plus million he will be paid this year.
If 2011 first-round draft pick Jonathan Baldwin makes major leaps in 2012, as the team thinks he will, the Chiefs will have more options and may feel more comfortable with letting Bowe walk as a free agent and use the money designated for him on other needs.
As the offseason moved on, it became more apparent the Chiefs were willing to wait out this situation and they have yet to make their final decision on Bowe.
Now it is up to Bowe, who has yet to sign his tender, to force the team to make a decision with his performance this season as the franchised player. That’s why I’d be surprised if Bowe holds outs for a significant amount of time. He knows his 2012 salary is too good to pass up and his future in the NFL depends on him doing well this season.
5dEric D. Williams