Browns sign free-agent receiver Dwayne Bowe from Chiefs
CLEVELAND (AP) Dwayne Bowe believes he's catching on with the Browns at the perfect time.
A Pro Bowl wide receiver with Kansas City, Bowe signed a two-year contract on Friday with Cleveland, a struggling franchise with a rabid fan base eager to cheer for a consistent winner. That's what Bowe experienced in eight seasons with the Chiefs and the free agent's ready to bring what he learned to the Browns.
''The Browns were the perfect situation from the fan base to the style of offense and the way I'll be utilized to help the team go to the next level,'' Bowe said. ''After eight years, you're a pro's pro. I've had every style of coaching, every personality. I've been through a lot and it's going to make this transition a little easier because of what I've been through.
The 30-year-old Bowe is a legitimate down-the-field target to help Cleveland's passing game, and he'll help offset the loss of Josh Gordon, who will serve a one-season NFL suspension in 2015 for drug violations.
Bowe made 532 receptions and scored 44 touchdowns with the Chiefs, who recently released him to save room under the salary cap. Although Bowe's production has dipped in recent seasons - he scored a league-high 15 TDs in 2010, but only 13 in the four seasons since - the Browns are confident he can be their No. 1 receiver.
''Dwayne is a player that adds a big, tough and physical presence to our group,'' Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. ''His ability to play in high traffic areas of the field for contested catches is something we really like. We have talked about having a versatile group of wide receivers that can align and play from various positions, and he can do that. His position versatility to inside and outside numbers appeals to us in a variety of ways.''
Bowe has had three 1,000-yard seasons since 2007, when the Chiefs selected him with the No. 23 overall draft pick. The 6-foot-2, 221-pounder has caught at least 57 passes in each of the past three seasons.
''Dwayne brings a nice combination of size and speed to our wide receiver group,'' Browns coach Mike Pettine said. ''He is a veteran player that has been productive and caught a ton of footballs in this league. His size and catch radius make him very quarterback-friendly, and we are happy to add him to our team.''
Bowe is the second significant addition at wide receiver, a position of need that Farmer did not address in last year's draft. The Browns recently signed former Miami Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline, a sure-handed route runner who will be a nice complement to Bowe and slot receivers Andrew Hawkins (team-high 63 catches in 2014) and Taylor Gabriel.
Bowe sees strong potential in Cleveland's group of wideouts.
''These guys just want to play football. You don't have any ego guys on that team,'' Bowe said. ''You've got guys that just want to come in and do their job and make the organization successful, and that's all you ask for in a group, guys that want to come in and play their tail off. It doesn't matter if they're No. 1 or No. 2 as long as everyone is contributing.
''They just want to win. That's something the organization definitely needs now is winning, and they're putting in the right pieces to make that happen.''
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