Kansas City, Mo. Dwayne Bowe is already getting up to speed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Pro Bowl wide receiver was on the field with the rest of his teammates Monday for the first time since signing his franchise tender last week, keeping alive the possibility that he could be play in the Chiefs’ preseason game Friday night against Seattle.
NFL rules prevent Bowe from practicing in pads until today, but he spent time with quarterback Matt Cassel and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll during Monday’s workout.
“The business part is over, I signed Friday and the great part about it is I’m here now with my teammates,” Bowe said. “I’ve been coming in extra early in the morning, staying late after practice, in the meeting room with Matt, trying to expedite the opportunity to get out there.”
Bowe has been seeking a long-term deal and was unhappy when the Chiefs gave him the franchise tag, and ultimately decided to skip the offseason program and the start of training camp.
He didn’t have much negotiating leverage — his only option besides signing was to sit out into the start of the season. So he relented when the Chiefs broke their camp in St. Joseph, Mo., signing a contract on Friday to play this season for about $9.5 million.
The two sides will likely resume negotiations on a long-term contract when league rules permit, but Bowe could find himself in a similar situation next offseason, too.
“Every year is a big year, someone is coming in trying to take my job,” Bowe told reporters after practice Monday. “My job is to prove I’m the No. 1 guy.”
The former first-round draft pick has emerged as one of the game’s best wide receivers, with three 1,000-yard seasons and a league-leading 15 touchdown catches in 2010, when he made his only Pro Bowl appearance. He caught 81 passes for 1,159 yards and five touchdowns last season for Kansas City (No. 18 in the AP Pro32).
Still, he’ll be pushing to get ready as quickly as possible.
Bowe has missed several months of practice, and is far behind in learning Daboll’s system. That’s why the new offensive coordinator gathered Cassel and wide receivers coach Nick Sirianni along with Bowe on an adjacent practice field for a cram session Monday afternoon.
It won’t be the first time that Bowe has had to learn a new offense — he’s had half a dozen coaches calling plays since getting drafted by the Chiefs five years ago.
“The offensive coaches are giving him a crash course,” Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. “He’s a willing student, you know, because he’s back in the fold, he wants to do good, he’s a prideful receiver, so I think he’ll do everything he can to learn as fast as he can.”
Crennel said he’s not sure whether Bowe will be ready for Friday night’s game against the Seahawks (No. 22), but it’s clear that everyone involved wants to see him on the field. Starters generally do not play much in the preseason finale, which means Bowe is already running out of time.
Kansas City opens the regular season Sept. 9 against Atlanta (No. 13).
“That’s the coach’s decision,” Bowe said, when asked whether he’ll play against Seattle. “If I learn all the plays before that — if it takes a little longer, it takes a little longer.”
Notes: Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers was wearing a walking boot during practice. He’s been slowed by a bruised heel that at first was considered minor, but has now kept him out of practice since July 31. Crennel said there is still no timetable for his return. ... S Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) was not on the practice field after getting hurt last Friday night at St. Louis.