Dwayne Bowe

Browns To Release Dwayne Bowe

2:12pm: The Browns have confirmed the move.

2:07pm: The Browns will release Dwayne Bowe today, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. Linebacker Karlos Dansby, who has already been released by Cleveland, relayed the news of Bowe’s pending cut to Cabot. Dwayne Bowe (vertical)

Bowe was set to earn a $6.15MM salary for the 2016 season. Of that sum, $2.85MM was guaranteed, plus $1.75MM in prorated bonus money. Ultimately, the Browns have reduced that cap hit from $8MM to $4.6MM.

In March of 2015, the Browns signed Bowe to a two-year deal worth $9MM guaranteed. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the Browns to regret that deal. In September of last year, word leaked out that the Browns had the veteran on the roster bubble.

Bowe was part of the underachieving and record-setting group of Chiefs wide receivers that managed to go the entire 2014 season without catching a single touchdown pass. It was the third straight mediocre season for Bowe, who has averaged approximately 59 receptions and 743 yards per year since 2012, on the heels of back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011. Despite all the warning signs, the Browns went ahead and signed Bowe to a lucrative deal last offseason. In 2015, Bowe saw time in only 7 games, catching 5 passes for 53 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Browns, J. Thomas, Lions

With Josh McCown bothered by a painful rib injury, second-year quarterback Johnny Manziel got the nod for the Browns on Thursday night. The returns weren’t great, with Manziel struggling in the second half, completing less than 50% of his passes as the Browns fell 31-10 to the division-rival Bengals.

Still, there were some positive signs for the former 22nd overall pick, who threw for 128 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Was it enough for the Browns to give him another start? Head coach Mike Pettine wasn’t ready to commit to that following the game, as Pat McManamon of ESPN.com writes.

“When we get in and get back from this time off, we will assess what pool of players are available and go ahead and make those decisions from there,” Pettine said. “This will be a good time to step away and reassess where we are moving forward.”

As the Browns figure out who their starting quarterback will be the next time they take the field, let’s check in on some other items from out of the NFL’s North divisions….

  • All-Pro Browns left tackle Joe Thomas was nearly dealt to the Broncos at the trade deadline on Tuesday, and while he admitted he would have been “really crushed” to leave Cleveland, he added that he’s not upset the team considered moving him. “It doesn’t really bother me that they listened to people that offered things,” Thomas said, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “It’s kind of like you’re walking down the street and somebody says, ‘Hey, nice watch. You want to sell it?’ You say, ‘Well, it’s not for sale.’ But then you think and go, ‘Well, what will you give me?’ It’s just a matter of what the price is. Obviously, from the sounds of it, it was close but no cigar.”
  • Having watched Dwayne Bowe outperform Taylor Gabriel in Thursday’s game, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk wonders why the Browns have been playing Gabriel over Bowe for most of the season. In Smith’s view, the fact that Bowe hasn’t seen much playing time after Cleveland gave him $9MM in guaranteed money speaks to a possible disconnect between GM Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine.
  • After seeing GM Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand get axed yesterday by the Lions, Detroit players acknowledged that major changes to the roster could be the next shoe to drop. “When new people come in, they obviously feel like the people who were here weren’t getting the job done, so they try to bring in their own guys,” safety Glover Quin said, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “Everybody, at least for me, I feel like everybody’s on the chopping block. Everybody’s job is on the line.”

Extra Points: Browns, Bears, Rex, Eagles

Browns wideout Dwayne Bowe signed for $9MM guaranteed during the offseason and was expected to upgrade a receiving corps in desperate need of help. That didn’t happen through the first three weeks of the season, though, as the former Pro Bowler went without a catch in the opener and then missed the next two games because of a strained hamstring. Nevertheless, the ninth-year man entered Sunday’s game against San Diego brimming with confidence.

“I can’t wait to go out there and showcase my talent and be a ringleader for the guys and go out there and bring home a win,” Bowe said, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Bowe got back on the field in Week 4, but he once again failed to catch a pass. Quarterback Josh McCown, who completed passes to eight different teammates, targeted Bowe just once. The Browns lost, 30-27.

Here’s more on the Browns and a few of their counterparts from around the NFL:

  • After the Bears dealt linebacker Jared Allen to Carolina earlier this week, fellow LB Willie Young asked Chicago for a trade, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. Young played defensive end in the Bears’ 4-3 scheme last year and had 10 sacks. They switched to a 3-4 this season, forcing him to shift to linebacker, and he’s currently without a sack. Young doesn’t believe he’s a fit for the Bears’ defense anymore, and if the team agrees, Florio writes that it should grant his request and send him elsewhere.
  • The Bills turned in a horrendous performance in their 24-10 loss to the Giants on Sunday, especially with respect to discipline. Their 17 penalties gives them 57 for the year, the most any team has had through the first four weeks of the season since 2005, per ESPN’s Mike Rodak. Head coach Rex Ryan wasn’t upset with his team, however. Contrarily, he said he was “proud” of how the Bills played. “Can you play a lot smarter? Absolutely,” Ryan continued. “But I’ll take a team that can fight over a team that won’t — that will sit back and take it — any day of the week. And bring on the next team.”
  • Much of the dialogue regarding the Browns this year has centered on the quarterback position – whether they should start McCown or Johnny Manziel. That shouldn’t be the case after Week 4, writes Bud Shaw of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Shaw believes McCown’s sensational Sunday output (32 of 41 for 356 yards and two touchdowns) should be enough for him to keep the No. 1 job going forward. A better performance from Cleveland’s defense, which allowed 438 total yards (358 passing), could’ve helped earn the team a win and improve to 2-2 instead of drop to 1-3.
  • The Eagles’ Chip Kelly was a successful coach during his first two NFL seasons, leading the team to back-to-back double-digit-win seasons and a playoff berth. Now, after the Eagles gave him full control over their roster, Kelly looks like both a coach unable to adjust to how other clubs are game planning against Philly and a football czar who built a highly flawed team, opines Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report.
  • Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson suffered a left knee injury during their 23-20 loss to Washington on Sunday and will have an MRI on Monday. Johnson said he re-injured his MCL, and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer speculates that it’s a sprain (Twitter link).

AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Jets, Texans

Some assorted notes from around the AFC…

  • Wideout Dwayne Bowe has yet to take the field after having joined the Browns this offseason, but the veteran is confident that he’s ready to make an impact. “People in this building know in practice from watching every day the plays I make, and I’m just waiting for it to be called in the game,” Bowe told Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. “I’m getting back to where I need to get, and it’s going to happen. Just have patience.”
  • The Browns worked out a handful of players yesterday, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). The attendees included defensive tackle Davon Coleman, offensive linemen Reese Dismukes, Vince Kowalski, Ron Patrick and Aundrey Walker, and defensive ends Joe Kruger and Julius Warmsley.
  • Former USF wideout Andre Davis told Jenna Laine of Sports Talk 1040 The Team that he has a workout with the Ravens this week. The receiver spent this past preseason with the Bills.
  • Jets linebacker Demario Davis was fined $8,681 for his hit on running back Darren Sproles last weekend, reports Dom Cosentino of NJ.com.
  • A pair of Texans linebackers were fined for their actions during last weekend’s game against the Buccaneers, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle: John Simon ($17,363) and Akeem Dent ($8,681).

AFC Notes: Texans, Richardson, Bowe

With Randy Bullock looking shaky, the Texans will audition a number of kickers this week, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Houston will take a look at Nick Novak, Connor Barth, Kai Forbath, Chris Boswell, and Giorgio Tavecchio as potential replacements, though it’s not a lock that they’ll sign one of those players.

Here’s more from the AFC..

  • The Jets haven’t heard from the league about more possible discipline for Sheldon Richardson and as of right now, coach Todd Bowles is operating under the assumption that he’ll be back on Monday, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Despite the fact that he has yet to make his mark in Cleveland, Browns coach Mike Pettine says the team has not discussed cutting wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer tweets.  Bowe had a $9MM guarantee on his deal and the team expects him to play this season.
  • Jets guard Willie Colon suffered a sprained knee on Sunday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.  Colon will likely be out this week and may miss more time beyond that.
  • Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth told reporterss, including Coley Harvey of ESPN.com, that length wasn’t the most important factor for him when it came to his extension. Whitworth only wanted to be in Cincinnati again and the length of the deal was apparently secondary.  He admitted that his family and other factors could influence decisions on future deals.  “I want Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Adam Jones and all these guys to know what it’s like to win a Super Bowl,” Whitworth said (link).

Sunday Roundup: Browns, Whitworth, Brees

Dwayne Bowe is a healthy scratch for the Browns in Week 3, which, given Cleveland’s dearth of talent at wide receiver, speaks volumes about Bowe’s present ability. Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com appears to believe that the team will cut ties with Bowe sooner rather than later, tweeting that the team will wait for GM Ray Farmer to return from suspension after next week’s game and then pull the plug on Bowe. Grossi’s ESPN colleagues Adam Caplan and Jeremy Fowler, however, disagree. Fowler tweets that the Browns will at least wait to see if Bowe can get himself into game shape, while Caplan tweets that, between the $9MM in guaranteed money the Browns invested in Bowe, combined with the team’s need at wideout, Bowe will have a little more time to prove himself.

Now let’s take a peek at a few more links from around the league:

  • Johnny Manziel may not be playing for the Browns this week, but as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, he continues to impress Cleveland brass with the strides he has made both on and off the field. The team will continue to roll with veteran Josh McCown for the time being, but if the Browns should begin to slip from the playoff picture, Manziel will get the chance to prove he is the team’s long-awaited solution under center.
  • Coley Harvey of ESPN.com believes the extension that the Bengals recently gave to Andrew Whitworth is a clear indication that the team does not see its window of opportunity closing, and that they will continue to be championship contenders for the foreseeable future. Although the team has not officially announced the extension, Harvey tweets that the announcement could come after today’s game against Baltimore.
  • Drew Brees‘ injury clouds his future with the Saints, and as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, the team could free up $20MM in salary cap room by parting ways with Brees next year and beginning the rebuilding process. Of course, before that happens, the team would have to have a viable alternative under center; Luke McCown is not the answer, and rookie Garrett Grayson, needless to say, has a long way to go.
  • If Brees should end up looking for a new home next year, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com says the Jets would likely be a strong contender for his services.
  • Chuck Pagano may be coaching his last season in Indianapolis, but he is apparently unafraid to make drastic changes to jump start his struggling club. As Mike Wells of ESPN.com tweets, the Colts went with a new-look offensive line today, starting Jack Mewhort at left guard, Hugh Thornton at right guard, and Joe Reitz at right tackle. Free agent acquisition Todd Herremans, notably, moves to the bench.
  • During the 2009 draft, the Jaguars traded their seventh-round pick in that draft and their second-round pick in the 2010 draft to the Patriots in exchange for New England’s third-round pick in 2009. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets, Jacksonville selected Derek Cox with that third-round pick, and the Pats parlayed their two choices into Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.

 

La Canfora’s Latest: Peyton, Bowe, Lovie

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports published a number of stories that are worth a read this morning, so let’s dive right in:

  • The Broncos are off to a 2-0 start, but it has been a frustrating and heart-stopping couple of games, and things are not as rosy as the team’s record would indicate. Denver’s front office and coaching staff have been intent on establishing the running game in an effort to keep Peyton Manning upright and healthy and to prevent him from wearing down over the course of the season, as he did in 2014. Manning, meanwhile, would prefer to be in the shotgun and throwing as much as possible. As team and player search for some middle ground, there are differing opinions as to how the Broncos should handle their offense moving forward. Some scouts believe Manning is putting himself in danger as he tries to think and feel his way through Gary Kubiak‘s offense, and that it may be better to simply allow the future Hall-of-Famer to do what he does best. Others say that Manning himself is the problem, as his declining velocity, accuracy, and susceptibility to “phantom pressure” allow opposing teams to rush five players and deploy a single high safety in the defensive backfield. The problem has been worsened by the team’s poor offensive line play, and Denver’s next opponent, the Lions, is also likely to dial up a great deal of pressure on the quarterback. How the Broncos respond will go a long way in predicting their success for the remainder of the Manning era.
  • Browns wide receiver Dwayne Bowe played and practiced very sparingly in the preseason, and when he finally did get an extended look in the team’s fourth preseason game against reserve defensive backs, he was unable to make much of a statement. Per La Canfora, there are some members of the Browns coaching staff that would like to move on from Bowe immediately, even though he has yet to play a regular season snap for his new club. However, as Bowe is owed $9MM in guaranteed salary over the next two seasons, Cleveland has little choice but to hang onto Bowe and see what he can do. As Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets, Bowe did have a good week of practice this week and is active for today’s matchup against Tennessee.
  • Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith took over defensive play-calling duties this season after Tampa Bay’s defense floundered in 2014. However, his unit’s performance against the Titans last week was even worse than virtually anything he saw last season, and now Smith is under mounting pressure to at least deliver some reason for optimism moving forward. In 2014, the makeup of Smith’s coaching staff raised the eyebrows of other front offices in the league, as many believed that the group–which essentially operated without an offensive coordinator all season–lacked adequate NFL experience. Although the team has installed seasoned NFL coach Dirk Koetter as its offensive coordinator, skepticism regarding Smith’s staff remains. Smith, after all, took over play-calling duties from Leslie Frazier, a former head coach with a ton of coordinating experience, and as La Canfora writes, “it did not go unnoticed in coaching circles when esteemed defensive coach Rod Marinelli, one of Smith’s closest friends, opted to stay in Dallas as coordinator rather than join Smith’s staff in Tampa.” Although the team’s loss to Tennessee last week was just one game, it is fair to say that Smith’s club must start to make some strides if he wants to remain at the Tampa Bay helm in 2016 and beyond.
  • League commissioner Roger Goodell recently said that he is open to altering the way the league handles the discipline and appeals process for off-field matters, and the NFLPA has submitted a proposal that sets forth such an alteration. The proposal, which was submitted when the union filed a grievance with the CBA arbitrator early this year in response to the league’s new domestic violence conduct policy, calls for the creation of a new appeal position, and it would also prevent the commissioner from handling an appeal himself or from choosing someone else to handle it for him. There is no timetable for when the grievance might be resolved, and there will, as always, be extensive negotiating involved in these proposed changes to the appellate process. However, as La Canfora writes, “the growing groundswell among owners to redirect Goodell from being so intimately involved in the process is almost certain to result in changes at some point.”

Dwayne Bowe On Browns’ Roster Bubble?

Back in March, the Browns signed wide receiver Dwayne Bowe to a two-year deal worth $9MM guaranteed. What might not be guaranteed, according to one person in the know, is his roster spot for 2015. On the Browns’ radio network earlier tonight, color commentator Solomon Wilcots said that he spoke to coaches who indicated that Bowe needs to deliver tonight in order to make roster (via 92.3 The Fan’s Anthony Lima on Twitter).

Bowe, 31 in a few weeks, missed nearly three weeks of training camp with a sore hamstring and it seems as though the coaches are less than thrilled with what they’ve seen out of him since his return. Still, one has to wonder if Bowe is actually on the roster bubble or if talk of him being a roster casualty is more of a motivational technique for the veteran wide receiver. It would be shocking to see the Browns release Bowe and pay him millions without ever taking the field in a game and, besides, the Browns already coughed up a lot of dough to release Phil Taylor from his deal.

The veteran was part of the underachieving and record-setting group of Chiefs wide receivers that managed to go the entire 2014 season without catching a single touchdown pass. It was the third straight mediocre season for Bowe, who has averaged approximately 59 receptions and 743 yards per year since 2012, on the heels of back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011.

AFC Notes: Mariota, Bowe, Manuel, Raiders

Offset language continues to represent why Marcus Mariota hasn’t come to terms with the Titans on his rookie contract, the last such holdout. Whether or not Mariota would draw two salaries if cut by the Titans — a highly unlikely event considering Jake Locker finished his four-year deal in Tennessee — and signed by another team is slowing down the process, writes John Glennon of the Tennesseean.

No. 1 pick Jameis Winston‘s contract does contain offset language, which determines whether or not a second team’s payment would help the Titans offset the amount owed to 2015’s No. 2 selection in this scenario, but No. 3 choice Dante Fowler Jr.‘s does not, Glennon reports.

In a decade that’s featured far fewer first-round contract issues than the last due to the clearer structure of the new CBA on rookie salaries, the Titans have been the last team to sign their first-rounder in each of the past three seasons, with Chance Warmack and Taylor Lewan coming to terms late in the summer on their respective deals in 2013 and 2014. First-rounder Kendall Wright missed three days of training camp in 2012 after becoming the second-to-last player to sign that year.

Glennon views Mariota’s camp as holding the leverage in these talks, with the Titans coming off a 2-14 season and ready to have the face of their franchise and advertising campaign suit up.

Here are some more items being mentioned across the AFC as Independence Day winds into the afternoon. We’ll continue with a couple of quarterback assessments.

  • This could be the typical preseason hype before any negatives come to light, a time-honored tradition across sports, but Dwayne Bowe had an interesting observation as he prepares for his first training camp with the Browns. “With Alex Mack and Joe Thomas, we’re going to have a lot of time to hit that deep ball even in the red zone,” Bowe told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in a piece centered on the ex-Chiefs wideout’s 17-game span without a touchdown. “I never had a quarterback like Josh (McCown) that was that tall and could see the mismatch and really go to it. He’s got my confidence level high right now.” It’s true Bowe hasn’t exactly had the best passers throwing to him in Brodie Croyle, Matt Cassel and Alex Smith, but the latter duo are 6-foot-5 and 6-4, respectively, while McCown also stands 6-4. Perhaps it’s a sign McCown has shown a penchant to take more risks than the two checkdown-based artists displayed during Bowe’s time in Kansas City.
  • In analyzing Winston, former Buccaneers Pro Bowler and current FOX analyst Ronde Barber made his presumptive stance on the Bills‘ starting quarterback battle known. “The guy that preceded (Winston) at Florida State, EJ Manuel, I did a couple of games of Buffalo over these two years that I’ve been working at FOX, and he is the other way. He’s timid. He holds the ball. He’s scared to deliver it when he needs to,” Barber told Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “This guy is the complete opposite, maybe to a detriment at times; he throws a lot of interceptions. But he has that “it,” that bravado, that gunslinger mentality, if I could use that (tired) cliché, to be a great quarterback in this league.” 
  • Elvis Dumervil collected an extra $1MM in incentive cash with his 12th sack last season, and the 10th-year pass-rusher can earn an additional $3MM by hitting that plateau again this season for the Ravens, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The two-time first-team All-Pro matched his career high with 17 sacks last season, and in doing so began a push for his contract signed before the 2013 season to inflate to its full value of $33MM over five years.
  • Behind Latavius Murray, who will receive the first chance to start and build on the momentum he showed at the end of his second season, in the Raiders backfield are Trent Richardson and Roy Helu. The latter has a clearer path to steady playing time, with a proven track record as a passing-down back, writes Steve Corkran of Raiderbeat.com. Marcel Reece, however, may not despite the seventh-year fullback coming off three consecutive Pro Bowl campaigns. As is the case in many NFL attacks today, the fullback does not make frequent cameos in Bill Musgrave‘s system.

Browns Sign Dwayne Bowe

TUESDAY, 8:21am: Per Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), Bowe’s two-year deal is worth $12.5MM, with $9MM guaranteed, including a $3.5MM signing bonus. That’s a pretty nice guarantee for a player who has been very mediocre in recent years.

FRIDAY, 10:38am: The Browns have officially signed Bowe, the club confirmed today in a press release.

THURSDAY, 1:07pm: It’s a two-year deal for Bowe with the Browns, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.

12:47pm: After hosting him for a visit to Cleveland over the weekend, the Browns have agreed to sign free agent wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Rapoport tweets that Bowe was one of Cleveland’s top offseason priorities, adding that the two sides kept working on a deal this week until they eventually reached an accord.

Bowe, 30, was part of the underachieving and record-setting group of Chiefs wide receivers that managed to go the entire 2014 season without catching a single touchdown pass. It was the third straight mediocre season for Bowe, who has averaged approximately 59 receptions and 743 yards per year since 2012, on the heels of back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011.

Having brought aboard Jeremy Maclin on a pricey new long-term contract, the Chiefs cut ties with Bowe a week ago, allowing him to hit the open market. The former first-round pick may have drawn interest from other clubs – Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports tweets that the Jags were “lurking” – but his only visit was to Cleveland, with the Browns putting on the full court press to add him.

For the Browns, Bowe will join Brian Hartline on the team’s new-look receiving corps, which almost certainly won’t include Josh Gordon, who is facing a year-long suspension, and Miles Austin, who is on the free agent market. Andrew Hawkins is currently penciled in as the slot receiver to complement Bowe and Hartline, and it’s possible that the team will address the position in the draft as well.

Browns GM Ray Farmer was a part of the Chiefs’ front office back in 2007 when Kansas City drafted Bowe in the first round.