Don't Kill The Mellinger

Columnist Sam Mellinger's thoughts on sports and other important stuff

Dwayne Bowe, Day 2: He’ll play in Denver, but how will it affect Chiefs?

11/13/2013 9:35 AM

11/13/2013 6:06 PM

Dwayne Bowe is the news of the day — the week, really — and here I write about the real problem in all of this.

We’ve got you covered on Bowe and his Fire 0.6,

Terez and Glenn Rice with the news, and Vahe with a column

.

There is a segment of Chiefs fans — more than half, according to

our poll

— who believe the team should bench, suspend or even cut Bowe. Beyond the football ramifications of Bowe being the team’s most talented receiver, and a beloved teammate who has never had work ethic or attitude problems^ there is very specific wording about this in the CBA.

^ His problems, like I wrote in that blog post yesterday , are almost always of stupidity, not malice.

Article 42, section 6:

"No Club may impose any discipline against a player, including but not limited to terminating the player’s Player Contract, as a result of that Player’s violation of the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or for failing any drug test"

There is additional wording that allows for discipline to be written into a player’s contract, but that’s not believed to be the case with Bowe.

So he’s on the team, and will play Sunday, both because the CBA doesn’t allow the Chiefs to discipline him before the league and (more importantly, if we’re being honest) they need him on the field.

I was going to fire up our occasional PR 101 series about what the Chiefs should say but I see that Joel Thorman beat me to, basically, the exact message I would’ve suggested

:

"The team is aware of Dwayne Bowe's arrest and we are disappointed in his decision-making. We will let the legal process play itself out before determining the next step. In accordance with the CBA, the league will be responsible for any discipline imposed. At no time have I questioned Dwayne's commitment to helping the Chiefs win."

My only addition would be something like, "Dwayne is a good teammate and we all want what’s best for him and the Chiefs," but, really, same message.

Unless there is some sort of Tamarick Vanover-like thing going on here, what Chiefs fans care most about is how it impacts the team, specifically this weekend in Denver.

This is the first real bad break for a team that’s lived an otherwise charmed life this season. It is a strong and close locker room — I normally think these things are overrated by fans and media, but I believe it’s been a factor for a lot of reasons this year — but they haven’t really had to deal with anything negative since Andy Reid arrived in January.

Bowe’s arrest is the first test of that. He is well-liked by his teammates, but also in the first year of an enormous contract and is underperforming. (Presumably) driving home high from the airport is another dumb mistake for a 29-year-old, seven-year NFL veteran that should be past these things.

There is no way to actually measure such things, but my sense is that it won’t affect the Chiefs significantly. I do believe the locker room is strong, and they will absorb this and move on.

But they really didn’t need this, not this week.

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