Orlando Brown, Jr. Extension Talks Seem Dead

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While both sides seemed eager to get an extension done early in the offseason, reports this week have suggested there is a disconnect between the Chiefs and their left tackle. 


Charles Robinson @CRob5769

Writer – @ChiefsFocus

On Sunday I wrote the  below  words. Words that are now haunting me as I prepare to drop what I’m going to drop on your today: 


The Chiefs, however, need Orlando Brown, Jr more than OBJr needs them. Protecting Patrick Mahomes, making sure Patrick Mahomes has everything he needs, has become the clear vision of the past two off-season’s  for Brett Veach and the Kansas City front office. Extending Brown is not something I would consider an option, it’s a must.” 


What a difference 4 days can make. 


Reports have been flooding in this week that Orlando Brown, Jr and the Chiefs are “nowhere close” on a contract extension leading up to tomorrow’s 4 PM ET (3 PM CT) deadline for franchise tagged players to extend with their current teams. 


NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday that Brown and the Chiefs were nowhere close to the deal after speaking with Jammal Brown, who is OBJr’s mentor. The holdup? Brown is asking for “market setting” money in and extension with the Chiefs. This would put his annual salary at or above the $23 million a year that San Francisco is paying Trent Williams and Green Bay is paying David Bakhtiari. Houston’s Laremy Tunsil is currently banking $22 million a year and Baltimore’s Ronnie Stanley is 4th on the list (and who Baltimore chose as their LT of the future over Brown) at $19.75 million per. 


The Chiefs are reported willing to pay Brown a market setting deal, but with right tackle money. Brown famously demanded in Baltimore that he wanted to play left tackle or be traded, which is how he ended up in Kansas City in the first place. The top paid right tackle in the NFL currently is Lane Johnson of the Eagles, who makes $18 million annually. 


Its been reported by FanSided’s Matt Verderame  that Brown’s camp “supposedly” is asking for $25 million a year, which would more than reset the market landing $2 million ahead of where Williams (unanimously lauded as the best left tackle in the game) is making in San Francisco. Pete Sweeney tweeted earlier in the week that the Chiefs are reportedly willing to pay OBJr top LT money, just not reset the market. 


These reports have led us to believe that if a deal doesn’t get done, Brown is willing to sit out training camp as well as “into week 1”.


Two words : Get real. 


It’s clear that Brown and his camp are a touch unrealistic on their contract expectations going into 2022. So, what do we do here? More importantly, what do the Chiefs do here? 


The answer is simple: Brett Veach and the Chiefs front office need to dig their heels in and stand their ground. 


Orlando Brown, Jr. is a fantastic player. There is no debating that. Compare him to Trent Williams, though. Williams is by far and away the best tackle in the NFL, left or right. If you don’t believe me, watch him work against the Rams Von Miler and Aaron Donald last year. In fact, I’d challenge you to just watch the two play side by side. Brown is an incredible athlete who is developing into a great left tackle in the NFL. But Brown’s development path might lead him to a level that Williams is playing at now and has been for years. 


Frankly this smells like more negative fallout for the Chiefs that started at the beginning of the offseason when bad franchises started spending money recklessly to lure in top level players. Miami and Oakland Vegas did it with Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams. Now Brown, and specifically his representation, see it as an opportunity to try to reset the market at left tackle. 


I’ve said before, I’m all for these guys getting their money when they can. Football is a violent sport and careers are all too short, even for the most talented players out here. But these contracts have to be earned. We’re talking about a guy who has played left tackle for 2 years in the NFL. Last season Brown had a fantastic year from a run blocking perspective, tied for first in the NFL for all tackles (right or left) with a 81% run block win rate. 


But here are some names who were better than him in pass protection – something that is vital considering he is protecting the blind side of one Patrick Lavon Mahomes III : 


For More information on the contract and offers made, listen to the Chiefs 1st and 10 show recorded on 07/14/2022.

They have information on what the Chiefs have offered and how far they are willing to go.


Trent Williams 

Charles Leno, Jr 

Jedrick Wills 

Duane Brown 

Terron Armstead 

Dion Dawkins 

Elgton Jenkins 


There are more, but you get my point. Brown gave up 6 sacks and the most glaring weakness in his game is his tentativeness with his hands. In a division like the AFC West, that’s not going to continue to fly. And to reward a guy with a market setting contract after a one-year sample set would be asinine for the franchise to accommodate. 


What does a holdout accomplish for Brown? In my opinion, nothing. Brown has already been through the trade demand stage of his career, exiting Baltimore because he didn’t get the nod at left tackle for that franchise. Now, if things don’t go his way in Kansas City and he doesn’t get a $25 million AAV contract with the Chiefs he’s going to hold out? 


This isn’t going to look great in league circles. 


Sure, he’s a massively talented kid and he did well protecting Mahomes in year 1. Sure, the downfalls to his game are coachable and being underneath Andy Reid and Andy Heck in Kansas City is likely the best place for him to master his craft and become a franchise left tackle. But the fact of the matter is he’s not there yet. You don’t pay a McLaren price for Dodge Charger. Not even a Hellcat. 


If the sides don’t come to an agreement (which they should – $20-21 million a year makes sense for both sides), Brown would in theory play the 2022 season for $16 million for the Chiefs. KC also has the option to franchise Brown again next year for $20 million if they so choose. Since they placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Brown this offseason, there is a chance another team could negotiate a contract with him, but with ~24 hours to do so this seems like an extremely unlikely occurrence. 


It’s likely that Brown, Jr will play this season under the franchise tag and the organization and his reps will continue to work on a deal as the season progresses. If  it’s too far gone, the Chiefs could trade Brown or cut him and eat the dead money. There is a Bud Light deleting former Chief available who has experience protecting Mahomes in high leverage situations, after all.  


Don’t get me wrong, I want this to end well. I’d love to see Orlando Brown, Jr as a Chief for years to come – the offensive line KC has put together is a fantastic group and seem to mesh well together. Let’s just hope that one side maintains a grasp on financial reality while the other side gains one.

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