All the talk right now seems to be about Dwayne Bowe not having yet signed his franchise tender for the Kansas City Chiefs. He's staying away from camp for who knows how long and the Chiefs will be moving on without him. Whether or not this turns out to be a prolonged situation or Bowe just trying to get a few more days of air conditioning, we won't know for a while. But something we should know fairly soon is if Jon Baldwin will continue his impressive off-season thus far.
Back in mini-camp a few weeks ago one of the names that kept popping up that was impressing all those who were watching these practices was Baldwin. He looked to be the physically dominant receiver that people hoped he would become when the Chiefs drafted him in the first round out of the University of Pittsburgh a year ago. Although it was just a few days in a mini camp, still, a buzz was created about Baldwin that developed him as a candidate for a breakout season.
A rough start to his career that up until this point has been defined by an alleged locker room altercation with former Chiefs veteran running back, Thomas Jones. Baldwin has an opportunity to put that behind him in his second year and a great showing at camp this year might do more for Chiefs fans psyche's than just feeling good about how Baldwin is coming along.
I see a situation developing that changes the narrative for a lot of Chiefs fans that are clamoring for Bowe to not only sign his tender and attend camp, but to get that long-term extension that many believe he should receive. If Baldwin has a camp that portrays the same picture that he did coming out of those mini camps, all of the focus will turn to how good Baldwin can be as a Chief in 2012.
Don't get me wrong or misunderstand what I'm saying. The talk will become about how good Baldwin has looked and less about how Bowe's contract situation. Even though every Chiefs fan should still want Bowe to be there because two stud receivers are better than one, it's feasible that enough talk about how good Baldwin has looked would take some of the sting away from Bowe deciding not to join his teammates.
I'd love for both Baldwin and Bowe to be there in camp and for both of them to look like absolute studs, but the truth of the matter is that if Bowe isn't going to be there, I'll feel a whole lot better if Baldwin continues to impress like he did at camp. I'm curious to know how the front office and coaching staff will handle questions about Baldwin (not Bowe) in the wake of Bowe not being there.