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NFL Free Agents 2013: Dwayne Bowe Stock Falling?

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been the subject of multiple SI reports which, citing sources, question his effort.

Rick Stewart

The Buffalo Bills are in desperate need for help at wide receiver. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is considered by many to be the best available free agent receiver this off-season, and he's exactly the type of big (6'2", 221 pounds) and productive receiver that GM Buddy Nix has said he's wanted.

There's an oddity emerging with Bowe, however, that throws a wrinkle into the debate over whether or not the Bills would be wise to pursue Bowe should he hit the open market: teams are questioning whether or not Bowe will give maximum effort once he signs a big contract (as a franchise tag designee in 2012, Bowe has effectively been in a contract season for the last two years).

Peter King quoted a league scout in Monday Morning Quarterback last week on Bowe: "I am scared to death of Dwayne Bowe. Like him a lot, but not sure what we'd be buying if we signed him. Too much baggage."

Then yesterday, Don Banks - who works with King at Sports Illustrated - wrote that another receiver-needy team, the St. Louis Rams, aren't necessarily going to be in play for Bowe because they, "like many teams are wary of Bowe's decreased effort level after he earns a big payday."

Naturally, our friends over at Arrowhead Pride openly question those reports (though some there do not), but the point remains clear: Bowe may not be as sought-after a commodity on the open market as expected, and it could affect his price point (which one could argue based on his production is higher than the five-year, $55 million deal Vincent Jackson signed with Tampa Bay last season).

Speaking personally, Bowe is still the one free agent (that doesn't already play for the Bills, anyway) that I'd like to see the team go after. Do these reports change anyone's mind on Bowe?