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Derek Dietz @OriginalMrDietz
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus
A few weeks ago, I advocated for a long-term extension of Orlando Brown Jr. It was reported by multiple outlets the Chiefs offered a 6-year, $139 million contract (with a bloated $40M salary in year 6). This offer was passed on by Orlando’s agent and talks have stalled. Per Pro Football Focus (PFF), Orlando graded out as the 27th-29th best Tackle last year. This grade is for both right and left tackles. If you throw out his first four games and the three playoff games, Orlando graded out higher, around 16th overall. Assuming he eventually reports to camp and plays under the franchise tag and reports to camp- that would be ideal. But here are the options if he pulls a LeVeon Bell and “Opts Out”:
Option #1: A common thought is to kick Joe Thuney out from LG to LT. He did play well at left tackle in spurts last season, but is he a realistic option for the entire season? This is unlikely in my opinion. I generally do not think making a position weaker is a good plan. Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, and he made a nasty trio in the middle last year, and I do not see Andy Reid wanting to break that up.
Option #2: Geron Christian. He was signed from the Texans, and he also spent time in Washington. He is an experienced NFL LT that played for two bad teams, and per PFF, he technically graded out higher than Orlando Brown last season. It is almost like the Chiefs Brass knew this scenario might happen.
Option #3: Call old reliable Eric Fisher. Upon writing this, he is available. The former #1 overall pick for the Chiefs has familiarity with this system, but he is older now. It becomes a matter of comfort- do you trust him to protect Patrick Franchise’s Blindside? He was a talented player when he was here, but it is 2022, not 2018. In 2021, he graded out well per PFF. He will be on someone’s roster this season; the question is who’s roster.
Option 4: Some combination of Darian Kinnard, Andrew Wylie, Roderick Johnson, and Prince Tega-Wanogho. As unlikely as this seems, I would not rule it out. Someone on this list will be playing right tackle opening night. It is also likely that they would kick someone over to the left side and see how it goes.
It is this writer’s opinion that in the case Orlando Brown does not play on the franchise tag, it will be Geron Christian’s job to lose, with some young guys listed in option #4 waiting for a shot.