There is one fewer elite wideout on the free-agent market, as the Chiefs have given the franchise tag to WR Dwayne Bowe.
Bowe, a former first-round pick, has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in three of the past four seasons. He led the NFL in touchdowns in 2010 with 15 scores and posted 81-1,159-5 a season ago.
"Today was the league's deadline to designate a franchise player and we felt it was in the best interest of the Kansas City Chiefs to place the tag on Dwayne," said Chiefs GM Scott Pioli in a statement released by the team.
Bowe is the third receiver to be given the franchise tag this offseason, joining Wes Welker of the Patriots and DeSean Jackson of the Eagles. A fourth top wideout — Stevie Johnson of the Bills — signed a long-term extension with his team on Monday.
The way we see it
There was very little doubt the Chiefs would allow Bowe to test the free-agent market, as he is the team's top offensive player and one of the few game-changers at the position that could have been available this year. Kansas City improved the supporting cast around Bowe last season, investing money into free agent Steve Breaston and drafting Jonathan Baldwin in the first round. However, Bowe is still the No. 1 guy in that offense and a key part of the roster moving forward.
Like what they did a year ago with OLB Tamba Hali, the Chiefs are hopeful they can remove the franchise tag with Bowe and sign the receiver to a long-term contract in the coming months.