Browns Sign WR Dwayne Bowe
The Cleveland Browns were in a bad way at the wide receiver position. Come to think of it, their passing game in general had taken quite a hit over the course of the offseason. Jordan Cameron fled to Miami, Miles Austin wasn’t brought back and Josh Gordon was suspended, yet again.
Thank goodness for Dwayne Bowe. The Browns brought in the former Chiefs star wide receiver late on Thursday, as the two sides agreed to a two-year, deal. Bowe’s initial visit with Cleveland reportedly went “very well” and the two came to terms on a two-year pact quickly thereafter.
Bowe, 30, endured a rough 2014 season in which he failed to score a single touchdown, while catching less than 61 balls and posting fewer than 900 receiving yards for the third season in a row.
Due to his age and production, some may come at this signing with a knee-jerk reaction, assuming Bowe has regressed and is no longer a competent starting wide receiver. While that’s possible, Bowe’s situation the past three seasons begs for closer analysis. Bowe’s downward slide began in 2012 during a terrible season with numerous bad quarterbacks, with Bowe then having to deal with vertically challenged passer Alex Smith the past two years.
Due to his surrounding circumstances, a once big-time play-maker and red-zone factor grew less and less productive. Going to Cleveland may not completely eradicate fears that Bowe’s impact on the NFL is slowly disappearing, of course. Josh McCown can throw the deep ball and has had success in the red-zone, but he’s not anything close to elite, while second-year quarterback Johnny Manziel is still in rehab. No one knows what the Browns have in Johnny Football, or if he’ll ever even be their starting quarterback.
Needless to say, Bowe is taking just as big of a risk as the Browns are. That being said, he hypothetically offers them size, solid route-running and the ability to make plays on the ball. If Bowe can still fight through coverage and be anything close to the guy he was just a few seasons ago, he could dramatically help an offense starving for an impact offensive weapon. Bowe’s presence probably won’t lead to Cleveland getting back to the playoffs, but it just might be a step back in the right direction.
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