The one-game suspension of Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe could, in hindsight, become the domino that ultimately gives the Browns a replacement for Josh Gordon.
The suspension most likely voids the remaining fully guaranteed money in Bowe’s contract: $8.75 million in 2014 and $1.5 million in 2015. It creates a window for the Chiefs to dump Bowe, avoiding more than $10 million and creating an immediate $8.75 million in 2014 cap space. (The extra cap space now would almost entirely offset the $9 million cap charge they’d take in 2015, due to the post-June 1 move.)
Unless Bowe’s contract specifically was negotiated to remove now-standard language voiding future guarantees in the event of a suspension, the Chiefs could make a move at any point after Bowe’s one-week exile begins, but before the moment that his salary becomes guaranteed as “termination pay,” a benefit for all players with four or more years of service who are on a team’s Week One roster.
If Bowe is cut, he’d become a free agent. And if Browns receiver Josh Gordon is suspended for a full year, Cleveland would have a clear need at receiver.
This is speculation, but interesting nonetheless. The Chiefs fancy themselves a Super Bowl contender, and cutting their WR1 -- no matter how much he's being overpaid -- may be a tough pill to swallow given the current state of the receiving corps. Still, potential Bowe owners should be aware of all of the possibilities. Long term, it might be the best move for the Chiefs to part ways.