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Dwayne Bowe Contract Sets Market For NFL Free Agent Receivers

The Buffalo Bills are in desperate need of a starting-caliber wide receiver. If they want one in free agency, they'll need to pay out the nose to do so.

Andy Lyons

If the Buffalo Bills are in the market for a starting-caliber wide receiver in free agency, they're going to have to pay a pretty penny to get one.

That's because the Kansas City Chiefs have re-signed Dwayne Bowe to a five-year, $56 million contract with $26 million guaranteed, making him the third-highest paid wide receiver in the NFL. Two (and potentially three) other free agent wide receivers will likely be seeking similar contracts.

Greg Jennings of the Green Bay Packers may have trouble getting offers that approach $12 million in annual compensation, given that he'll be 30 years old at the start of the 2013 season. Then again, Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers will only be 27 in August - and if (when?) 25-year-old Percy Harvin is traded by the Minnesota Vikings, his subsequent contract will approach Bowe's compensation levels, as well.

Buffalo has been bracing for change at wide receiver for weeks, letting key Chan Gailey-era contributors Donald Jones and David Nelson depart as restricted free agents. But if they're looking to sign a receiver to hand a starting job over 2012 third-round pick T.J. Graham, the Bills will need to write a large check - and said receiver will need to overlook the team's lack of direction at quarterback, as well.