Five 'must-keep' free agents

Teams can't afford to let Dwayne Bowe, Andre Smith get away

Originally Published: January 23, 2013
By Khaled Elsayed | Pro Football Focus

Dwayne BowePeter G. Aiken/US PresswireThe Kansas City Chiefs' receiving corps would lose a ton of talent if Dwayne Bowe left.

When NFL free agency rolls around, the easiest thing to do is look at which players your team can pick up to improve its roster. But what can be overlooked, and is often more important, is for teams to retain their own talent if they're to build a long-term winning program.

With that in mind, here are five players whom their respective teams need to re-sign this offseason.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

I considered three receivers before settling on Bowe as the guy who would be hardest to replace. In St. Louis, Danny Amendola is dangerous but his constant health problems leave the Rams unable to rely on him. Meanwhile the likely split between the Patriots and Wes Welker is just as likely an opportunity for somebody else to step up in New England.

But without Bowe, Kansas City has Dexter McCluster, Jon Baldwin and Steve Breaston currently atop the depth chart. Bowe will be sorely missed if he's allowed to leave.