Should the Seahawks trade for Dwayne Bowe?

Seattle needs a red-zone threat. Dwayne Bowe is a red-zone threat.

There’s been a bit of talk this week about Dwayne Bowe wanting out in Kansas City. It’s not a total shock – he wants a big contract and received the franchise tag instead. The Chiefs have started poorly at 1-5 and there’s serious front office unrest with speculation about the future of GM Scott Pioli.

It’s not long since Kansas City’s last re-launch when they initially appointed Pioli, but they appear destined for another. Let’s go back to the early days of that regime. In 2010 Matt Cassel held together a pretty good ball-control offense – they ran with Jamaal Charles, dominated time of possession and Bowe was an unstoppable force in the red zone. He didn’t make a ton of big, downfield plays (1162 yards on a 16.2 average) but he had 15 touchdowns.

Things spiralled a bit last year and the Chiefs are unravelling again in 2012. Bowe’s maintaining his production, but he wants a big contract after receiving the franchise tag this year. Miami has a big need at receiver after trading Brandon Marshall and own a lot of draft capital after moving on Vontae Davis. The Dolphins should be working hard to add a player like Dwayne Bowe to make like easy for rookie Ryan Tannehill. The question is – should the Seahawks be making a similar push for the same reasons?

Russell Wilson is starting to get more from his receivers but he lacks a truly excellent red zone threat. Just think how much easier life would be if he had that particular weapon? Bowe is a machine from close range and would be an effective compliment to the likes of Sidney Rice and Golden Tate. The one thing Seattle’s offense lacks is that big target who creates problems in the red zone – they don’t have a dominating tight end or big bodied receiver who fills that role. Do the Seahawks beat Arizona in week one with Dwayne Bowe on the field for that final drive? We’ll never know.

While the Dolphins are very much in year one of a substantial rebuild, the Seahawks might be entering a period where they move from rebuilding to contender. This is the kind of time when you consider the right move to push your team to the next level. Sure, Bowe isn’t Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or A.J. Green. But it would fill a significant need. Unless he hits free agency next year – there aren’t likely to be many alternatives.

The counter argument is two fold. Firstly, Bowe has just turned 28 and may only have 2-3 years of top-end production left in his body before he inherits the ‘possession receiver’ tag. You’d have to believe he can hit the ground running and have an immediate impact. Secondly, the cost would be pretty high. This isn’t a great time to sign a veteran receiver to a new deal – Calvin Johnson penned a $132m deal in March and Larry Fitzgerald signed a $120m deal last year. Bowe won’t expect to earn as much as that, but the top end of the market is set and it’ll filter down. That’s why a guy like Antonio Brown gets a $42.5m deal from Pittsburgh and why players like Bowe, Wes Welker and Mike Wallace are unhappy to get tagged. They’re missing out on their slice of the pie.

Seattle is already paying Sidney Rice $8.2m in 2012 and he’s due $9.7m in 2013 and 2014. Zach Miller is getting $7m this year and is due $11m in 2013. When you’re due to pay two guys over $20m for not a lot of production, it’s difficult to start plotting a move to bring in another expensive veteran. It seems unlikely Rice and Miller will survive with those contracts next year unless they explode over the next 10 games, but paying the big bucks in free agency hasn’t worked for this team so far. Compare it to the production found from guys like Chris Clemons (modest trade), Brandon Browner (CFL addition), Marshawn Lynch (added for a 4th rounder and change) and Richard Sherman (5th round pick) and the Seahawks could be forgiven for abandoning big splashes for the foreseeable future.

Yet there is still that argument where Bowe provides the team with the one thing they really miss on offense – red zone production. Touchdowns. So while it would be very easy to rule this out, I kind of feel like this is a deal that would be attractive. The last trade of a similar ilk saw Brandon Marshall traded from Denver to Miami for two second round picks in 2010. Marshall not only had superior production to Bowe, but he was two years younger. He agreed a four-year deal with the Dolphins worth $47.5m.

As we know, the Seahawks showed interest in Marshall too. They also had at least a passing glance at Vincent Jackson when he was in San Diego. If the Chiefs get into a position where they’re resigned to losing Bowe, they may be willing to trade him for a second round pick – perhaps with a conditional pick thrown in based on production in 2013. That’s the kind of deal that should appeal to a team like the Seahawks. It frees them up to look at other areas in the first round of the draft in 2013, they get an immediate dangerous red-zone threat and bolster the offense in the process.

Another big stumbling block could be Kansas City’s reluctance to deal. If Scott Pioli is fighting for his job, he’s surely not going to start trading away the teams best players so that his replacement can spend all the picks they acquired. Yet there’s been enough talk this week about Bowe’s desire to leave to suggest the issue could be forced.

People will have their own views on this. For a second round pick, I think Bowe would be a calculated gamble. I’m not sure the Chiefs should look at that as a bad deal for an unhappy receiver approaching 30 and playing on the franchise tag. Plus Kansas City’s front office did spend a first round pick on Jonathan Baldwin last year. They surely cannot expect to get much more than a second round pick under the circumstances?

**Note** – I’m guessing a few more people will be willing to consider this tonight. Maybe even in Seattle’s front office.


  1. Crosby

    After watching that performance I would love Dwayne Bowe right now. Love.

  2. Stuart

    I am sadly disapointed with Golden Tate. He dropped at least two balls and missed on a block late in the game that could have given us a key first down. At this moment in time I would deal the deal for Bowe. Tomorrow I would probably feel different. Would KC accept a 3rd this draft and a 5th the following season, if yes, do it!

  3. Brandon

    I want a Bowe bad, but somehow I just can’t see PC/JS doing it. We looked at Vincent Jackson and Brandon Marshall, sure, but not with Rice already on the roster.

  4. Andrew

    I’d do it for a 2nd rounder, but to be honest, I think the Dolphins will pay more than that, and they have more draft capitol to play with.

  5. Colin

    Forget it. This has Tim Ruskell move written all over it. The guy is not a young pup, and will want ALOT of dough. We aren’t in a “win now” mode anyway.

    The way the D played tonight, we can look forward to years of good defense, and I don’t think making drastic moves is going to help.

  6. Wade

    Id pass on Bowe. Pc/Js buy low (Marshawn) they aren’t going to pony up for Bowe. I don’t think he makes us a SB contender so there is no point. As fans we want to win now but our front office is trying to build fir the long haul. This team is young. We have to let em grow folks.

  7. kenny

    I would be all for it if we were actually giving rice and miller the targets that they should be geting. Rice sbould have 10 targets a game. Miller should have 5 a game. Why are these 2 getting 5 looks a game combined? It makes no sense to me. Try for bowe anyways but we really need to start putting the ball into our expensive playmakers hands. This is getting ridiculous. Bevell needs to dial up some plays to rice and miller or these guys will be cut and then, if he is still here, he will be screwed because he will have no more playmakers when we truly need them.

    • Vin

      I agree with Kenny. I dont think we need more weapons, I think we just need to use what we have more often. During training camp and preseason, I couldnt understand why we kept bringing in bodies for WR….I understand the competition thing, but in my opinion, when you keep rotating guys in/out, they’ll never develop that repoire with the QB. I cant fault Rice & Miller for getting paid what they do, because I’d assume that when they signed, they thought they’d be getting those touches that Kenny speaks of. I think we all did. Adding Bowe to the mix doesnt solve anything in my opinion, it probably makes it worse. I think we have more than enough weapons to compete with any team, but through a combination of rookie QB, and uncertain/questionable playcalling, the team isnt best utilizing what it has. Even though the NE secondary is suspect and not the best example, I think that game showed what this offense is capable of. Bowe wont help us this year, and I dont think wouldve helped us last night against the 9ers. We already have two big bodied WRs in Rice & Edwards, but for whatever reason, Wilson loves to throw to Tate. Id rather get a new OC than another WR.

    • Meatwad

      I agree there should be more targets for Rice, but he has been getting very little seperation and a lot of plays. I never felt Rice is a true number 1 WR and this is something Seattle lacks. The offense has been poor for years now and it is due to a lack of big time playmakers. Let us be honest. The WR core is very average and the QB play is not going to be lights out. I like Wilson, but he is a rookie and and may not pan out to be a true NFL starting QB.
      I would be very open to Bowe if he was two years younger. I think Bowe is an upgrade to all of the WR’s on the team however. Either way unless Seattle gets lights out QB play be prepared for 20 points or less per game and wins will be because of great defensive play

      • kenny

        it is not so much qb play even, although some of it suspect. but there have been maybe 20 plays all season that have been made specifically to go to rice and miller. lets face facts here. when their best CB is 5’10, rice, miller, and edwards should have huge games. have them do nothing but run 5 yard hook routes and just throw the ball up to them. no way that a 5’10 guy can outjump rice or edwards. i like the throws to tate as well because he can be very explosive, but he is our number 3 receiver. rice and tate should have the ball in their hands almost twice as much as tate and baldwin. sure some of it has to do with them getting open, but these guys are so big and have such great hands and body control that 90% of single coverage should mean that they are wide open. if that is not the case, then dump them. we dont need to spend 16 million on 2 guys next year if single coverage doesnt mean they are open. we dont need to spend 9 million a year for rice if he is going to be getting 50 catches for 713 yards and 5 TD’s. we can get that out of a receiver that makes 1 million a year. we need an 80 catches for 1100 yards receiver. rice can be that guy and at 9 mil i am ok with that. miller is on target for 32 catches and 409 yards. is that worth 7 million? not in the slightest. now bump that up to 60 catches and 800 yards and i will take it. that would take away some targets to tate and baldwin and mccoy and edwards, but we are paying them to be a part of our passing game, not to be featured. we are paying miller and rice to be featured. they have the talent to be featured. now feature these guys. do it before management decides to cut them because production doesnt match cost.

  8. Michael

    The impatient fan side of my brain says I want Bowe landing at Seatac tomorrow… The rational side says that PC/JS could make better use of the draft capitol by holding onto it themselves. (although Tate was a second rounder, so maybe not…)

    If they can get him for a 3rd rounder or less I’m all for it, but I don’t think KC is quite that desperate to deal him and there would probably be other suiters willing to pony up more.

    If it were to actually happen I would have to start looking for a new WR for my fantasy team as it would probably do some damage to his 2012 statistical outlook…

  9. Jeff

    Bring back Kellen Winslow!

    He has the veteran smarts needed for the redzone and had established an excellent rapport with Wilson.

    • Rob Staton

      You have to ask though Jeff – if Winslow is as good as advertised, why is he still a free agent?

      • The Ancient Mariner

        What ever happened to Evan Moore, anyway?

        • Meatwad

          After watching some more tape on Moore I am not impressed at all. Then after seeing him drop two VERY catchable balls he is someone that should not have been picked up over Cooper Helflet. IMHO. Granted new offense but this is not a guy that is going to break out for the Hawks.

  10. dave crockett

    I pass on Bowe for two reasons:

    1. The money — and we really don’t know how well, if at all, he fits this system. Bowe is very good, but not a scheme-transcendent talent by any stretch.

    2. The redundancy — He’s too similar to Rice in skill set (imo); big, long-armed dudes who win the ball in the air rather than off the line.

    Instead, what Seattle really needs is a consistent slot threat who wins at the line of scrimmage with quickness (opening up the short-to-intermediate passing game). That’s Baldwin, when he’s healthy. This offense really doesn’t work without Baldwin and we’ve not been able to supplement his skill set.

    Someone joked a few weeks back that we should have never allowed Stokely to walk. It was part tongue-in-cheek, but realistically no one has that skill set on the roster other than Baldwin. That kind of skill set tends to be available more cheaply than what we’d pay for a guy like Bowe.

  11. dave crockett

    Another factor to consider is that Charlie Martin, who had developed some rapport with Wilson in pre-season, has been hurt since week 1. I have felt for a while that Seattle should add another WR who can work the short-to-intermediate stuff.

    Short term, a few street free agents could help Seattle. They’re not difference-makers but work the short areas that are giving us big trouble.

    1. Deon Butler — I’m not sure the outlook for Charlie Martin, but it’s safe to say we haven’t gotten much out of the decision to keep him, even if it was right at the time. With Baldwin’s ongoing health problems we could probably use “Little Deon” back on the team. Despite his rep as a speed guy, he’s really cut out to play the slot.

    2. Jordan Shipley — (Hey, there’s not much out there on the street.) Shipley is unsigned since the Bucs cut him after he fumbled a punt in his first game there as a waiver claim. He’s recovering from a knee injury. He’s more than a year removed now, so he should be better. He caught 52 balls (in 75 targets) for 600 yards as a rookie in Cincinnati. We don’t need him to return punts, obviously.

    Obviously, these are short-term moves. But right now, outside of Baldwin our WRs have a very similar skill set. No diversity. These two guys are reasonable approximations that you can probably get for league minimum. We might get some production, and some insurance in case Baldwin is out long-term.

  12. Bobby Cink

    Word for word from a friend who is a Chiefs fan:
    “1) The Chiefs would probably want a first-round pick for Bowe. If you could get him for a second you’d be stealing him.
    2) Bowe is a legit #1 WR. In the tiers of NFL WR’s, you have Megatron and Fitz, and then the second tier guys. Bowe is absolutely in that second tier and near the top.
    3) They mentioned his lack of big downfield plays. What they did NOT mention is who Bowe had throwing to him. With a legit QB who can make downfield throws Bowe’s average YPC could soar north of 20 in the 20-30 YPC range. He just had QB’s who couldn’t throw the ball more than 15 yards downfield.”

    • Bobby Cink

      “Damion Huard, Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton. Not exactly a “who’s who” of great QBs.” – Friend who is Chiels fan.

      • Rob Staton

        Great info Bobby appreciate that.

  13. Mtjhoyas

    I say you offer a 3 and see what they say. Probably won’t be enough, but for a young team, the Chiefs might want him off the roster, to keep him from influencing younger guys.

  14. Vin

    Here’s what I dont understand….Caroll brought in all these guys–Rice, Miller, Moore, Edwards, because they all brought something to the table that would help to create mismatches. We’ve gone a couple times to the 2 even 3 TE sets because it was suppose to create a mismatch, as well as enhance the run, to a degree. We can all agree that its a copycat legue, so we see the success NE has with Gronk & Hernandez and how the Hawks are attempting to create that same look here with Miller, Mccoy & Moore. In the 7 games the Hawks have played, I have yet to see one mismatch we’ve exploited. And I have a very hard time believing its because we have a lack of talent. I look at NE, the statistical #1 Offense in the league, and on paper, I’d place our guys on par with theirs, accept for Brady. Aside from Gronk & Hernandez, their WRs arent worlds better than ours, they just know how to make use of what they have. So is our problem the QB or playcalling? I’d say a bit of both. Im hoping its growing pains, and that by end of year everything will just click for Wilson. But Im starting to think that the height thing is definitely an issue. So if we we’re to bring in a guy like Bowe, I think his talents would get lost in the shuffle, just like Rice & Miller. Swapping Rice for Bowe is a wash, with nothing truly gained.

  15. kevin mullen

    For the right price, sure but I think 32 is the age where WR’s start to plateau. So he’s got 4 prime years left, plus he’d play that “BMW” role, big physical and yet not someone that’s gonna burn you. If we were to explore that option, I’d think about throwing in Tate and maybe Zach Miller to lessen the draft pick compensation because there KC could get a starting TE and slot receiver. Baldwin and Tate are too close in similarities that both really don’t make sense on one team. I’d do it in that on those terms. Then we can focus on TE for draft day2.

  16. Jeriod Klovas

    No keep building in the draft!!!! We have enough free agent receivers, S. Rice, B. Edwards, and Z. Miller. We need to stick with the plan and draft a stud, and instill in him the mindset of the team.

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