Three moves this off-season that the Chiefs could decide in response to the OBJ news
The Kansas City Chiefs decided on Tuesday to not to place the franchise tag on offensive tackle Orlando Brown. Some say it’s a risky move. It means that the four-time Pro Bowl tackle is set to become a free agent and possibly sign elsewhere after failing to come to terms on a long-term deal with the Chiefs.
Brown is in for a big payday considering he posted the third-best pass-blocking grade among left tackles from Weeks 10-17 in 2022. It’s a payday that could put him out of reach for the Chiefs. I did mention in my previous article that the Chiefs will be looking at their future left tackle either via the Draft or Trade (Laremy Tunsil).
Keep in mind that Right tackle Andrew Wylie is also set to be a free agent, which leaves the team with an even bigger need at offensive tackle. With that in mind, here’s a look at three free options the Chiefs will look into as a replacement for Brown.
1. Sign Jawaan Taylor to become the new Right Tackle:
Andrew Wylie gave up the most sacks among right tackles (9) via Pro Football Focus. If I’m Brett Veach, I would go all-in by signing the 25-year old Jawann Taylor after putting together a career season in 2022. Taylor allowed pressure on just 2.5% of dropbacks according to PFF, which was the 3rd-lowest mark among tackles in the NFL. As a pass protector, his has smooth footwork and calm, resulting in stop defenders early in their tracks. He excels at keeping his quarterback protected, and that is crucial for the Chiefs considering it has a ton of money invested in Patrick Mahomes and employs an offense that posted a passing play percentage of 61.5% in 2022 (No. 8 in NFL). Taylor is looking for a sizable multi-year deal ($17M-$18M/YR), but he would be worth it.
2. Move up into the Top 15-20 selection of the 2023 NFL Draft to draft the future blindside protector:
The Chiefs currently own picks in the bottom half of the first three rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft, but that may not be the case by the time April 27 rolls around. If Brett Veach wants a legit left tackle of future in this class, he’ll have no trouble putting together a package to go get him. Broderick Jones (He could go between 10-25) and Paris Johnson (Projected to the Commanders) feel like the most likely options (especially if Peter Skoronski is gone), and the Seattle Seahawks are logical trade partners at No. 20. I also can see a scenario that if Orlando Brown does return (We don’t sign Taylor or even Mike McGlinchey) and someone like freak athlete Right tackle Dawand Jones begins to fall, don’t be surprised to see the Chiefs trade up to No. 20 to jump Offensive tackle-needy teams like the Jaguars and Bills. If Darnell Wright is still there at No. 31, Veach would get him to reunite with Trey Smith.
3. Sign a veteran swing tackle:
We know how important the swing tackle role is in the NFL. It’s the same as having a backup quarterback. Having a player that’s capable of playing both the left and right tackle roles is great for the team. While he is the “sixth man” of sorts and wouldn’t be in the weekly starting lineup, the importance swing tackle position cannot be understated. Andrew Wylie potentially returning would make sense because he knows the scheme, his versatility to play all of the guard spots and right tackle and asking him to play in case of an injury would be great. Another option would be Cameron Fleming. The 30-year-old played in a career-high 976 snaps for the Denver Broncos in 2022 and spent time at both right tackle (9 starts) and left tackle (6 starts) providing the Chiefs’ coaching staff potentially with some much-needed versatility.