- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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I was planning to write on Monday morning that the unspoken deadline date had arrived for standout receiver Dwayne Bowe to report to the Kansas City Chiefs in time for him to be ready to contribute in Week 1.
To his credit, Bowe made that a moot point. He wisely signed his franchise tender Friday and has rejoined the team. I’ve been hard on Bowe throughout his holdout. He missed the entire offseason program and all training camp, which ended Thursday. I thought his holdout was pointless.
However, by reporting now he ensured he can be ready to help this team make a serious playoff push when the Chiefs open the season by hosting Atlanta on Sept. 9. Bowe has to accomplish two things in the next 23 days: He needs to get into football shape and he needs to get acclimated to new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s system.
Bowe can accomplish both in that time span. Had his holdout lasted another week, Bowe, who has had a history of not showing up in good football shape, would have put himself at risk of suffering a muscle-related injury that would force him to miss regular-season time and it would put him against the wall when it came to learning the playbook.
Also, by signing now, I think he and the Chiefs can salvage their relationship. The team wasn’t thrilled by his holdout, but now there is enough time for reconciliation. Basically, this holdout ends with no harm, no foul.
If Bowe has a big season in 2012 (which he easily can), the Chiefs could re-sign him or if they want, they can give him the franchise tag, worth more than $11 million. Bowe will make $9.515 million this season.
Bowe’s presence strengthens an already solid offense. The Chiefs’ first-team offense touchdowns in both possessions it had last week in the preseason opener. This is a team with a lot of weapons. Bowe makes Kansas City even more potent.
This is a positive day for both the player and the franchise, ending what could have been a potentially sticky situation.
1hField Yates and Rich Cimini