The Dwayne Bowe era is over. A little over a week after the 2016 league year began, the Cleveland Browns cut the veteran receiver.
Dwayne Bowe should officially replace Andre Rison as the worst FA signing in the Browns' history.— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) March 16, 2016
Last year, former general manager Ray Farmer signed Bowe to a 2-year, $13 million contract. Farmer didn't believe in investing a whole lot in the wide receiver position, yet he was willing to overpay an aging veteran because he had a previous relationship with him in Kansas City. The contract also included $9 million in guarantees, so this was not a "prove your worth" contract.
Bowe received his big payday and tried to get fans excited by making bizarre comments at the beginning of training camp -- such as saying QB Josh McCown was a Top-5 quarterback in the NFL, WR Taylor Gabriel was on the way to becoming a top receiver in the league, and WR Terrelle Pryor would no doubt make the roster.
Bowe then suffered a hamstring injury that carried over into the regular season. As time continued to pass, fans began to wonder why the guy who was supposed to be the team's No. 1 receiver in 2015 was out for so long. Then, a point came where he was clearly a healthy inactive each week, and then the word was that Bowe's injury from training camp set him so far back in the playbook that he never had time to catch up. That is the most ridiculous excuse I've ever heard. Bowe finished the season with 5 catches for 53 yards.
Bowe's cap hit for 2016 would have been $8 million. That included $1.75 million in signing bonus money and a $6.15 million base salary ($2.85 million of which is guaranteed). Therefore, the Browns will still have to carry $4.6 million in dead money for Bowe in 2016, but it was worth it to vacate his roster spot and pick up $3.4 million in cap savings.