Top 2013 Free Agent WR off the Market
Well, you can take Dwayne Bowe off the top of the available WR's who are 2013 NFL free agents. Bowe signed a 5 year, $56 million deal with the only NFL team he's ever played for, Kansas City.
It's a smart move by the Chiefs. Although some think they overpaid to keep Bowe, there's no denying he is vitally important to any type of offensive turnaround Andy Reid is going to orchestrate for Kansas City's passing game. Alex Smith needs weapons and Bowe was the top free agent WR on the market. He's also proven to be near unstoppable at times and is in the prime of his career (turning 29 years old in September).
In three of the last 5 seasons, Bowe has managed to have over 1,000 receiving yards despite a cast of QB's who weren't very good. Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton, Tyler Thigpen, Brody Croyle, Damon Huard; only Orton could be conceived of having been a decent starter. Add in that the Chiefs haven't had another WR starting opposite Bowe that has prevented opponents from keying on him on every passing play in that span, and you start to get a sense of why the Chiefs made Bowe a priority for them before he got to the open market.
In 2013, Bowe will have a new quarterback (Alex Smith) throwing to him and I believe that Smith will represent an improvement at the position over what Bowe has seen in his 6 NFL seasons. Smith isn't a gunslinger who will put up huge numbers, but he is a capable QB who had in the last 2 seasons in San Francisco proven to be efficient. There have even been times when Smith has flashed the potential to put up big numbers (the playoff game against New Orleans in January 2012 is a prime example).
We know Andy Reid runs a pass-first style of offense, and with Bowe not having to think about his contract anymore, Smith has a legitimate weapon to lean on. I don't expect Bowe is going to finish as a top 10 fantasy WR in 2013, but he stands a good chance of having close to 1,100 yards and catch 8-10 TD's. If Jon Baldwin steps up in his 3rd season and provides the Chiefs with a true complementary WR to start opposite Bowe, Bowe could do even better.
The official start to free agency begins on March 12, but in the moves the Chiefs have made so far, from the hiring of Andy Reid to the soon to be completed trade for Alex Smith, and the re-signing of Dwayne Bowe; I think they just might be able to make some noise in the AFC West in 2013.