The Chiefs essentially decided to sign Stanford Routt over trying to re-sign cornerback Brandon Carr to agree to a long-term deal.
One big benefit to Routt’s contract: Now the Chiefs can use the franchise tag on wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.
Before the Routt deal, it appeared the Chiefs had a tough decision to make regarding whether to tag Carr or Bowe. We’d argue Carr is a better player overall than Routt, but his relatively low pricetag made his deal worthwhile. Brandon Flowers, Routt, and Javier Arenas make a fine top-three cornerback lineup for the Chiefs.
Kansas City obviously had a good idea what Carr was looking for in a contract. Routt likely wanted much less and the Chiefs must not have believed the difference in the two players was too great. The Chiefs may have been hesitant to pay two cornerbacks huge money after already rewarding Brandon Flowers.
The Chiefs have a huge amount of salary cap space, so it should be easy to tag Bowe. A long-term deal could be tough to put together quickly. A one-year contract will give Bowe motivation to play his best again in 2012; motivation has been an issue at times during his career.
This news should make Vincent Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, and other potential free agent receivers smile. If Bowe and Wes Welker are off the market, there will be a greater demand for the receivers that do make it to free agency.