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Kansas City Chiefs’ Orlando Brown could sit out Week 1 over contract dispute

Matt Johnson

The Kansas City Chiefs franchise tagged left tackle Orlando Brown in March, ensuring that the Pro Bowl tackle protecting quarterback Patrick Mahomes couldn’t test free agency. While there were hopes for a long-term deal to be signed, things have taken a turn.

Brown, a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft requested a trade just over a year ago. He no longer wanted to play for the Baltimore Ravens, displeased with the organization’s insistence on making him a right tackle. Feeling it would cost him tens of millions of dollars on his next contract, Brown Jr. requested a trade and was sent to Kansas City.

The Chiefs were very pleased with how the 6-foot-8 tackle performed on the left side, protecting the face of the franchise. He graded highly against the pass and showed improvement as the year went on, with the offensive line gaining cohesion.

  • Orlando Brown stats PFF (2022): 765 pass-block snaps, 36 pressures surrendered, 12 QB hits allowed, four sacks, seven penalties

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While Kansas City knows Brown plays an integral role to the success of its offense and needs to be on the field in 2022, things don’t look promising on that front.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo shared that he spoke with Jamal Brown, who is advising Orlando, regarding the ongoing contract dispute. With the extension deadline for franchise-tagged players on Friday, no long-term deal is imminent and the two sides are far apart.

“The sides are nowhere close on a deal. They’re not going to ‘do a deal, just to do a deal.’ …My understanding is the offers to Orlando Brown, –who wants to be paid at the top of the left tackle market, which is $23 million per year – are more in line with the top of the right tackle market.”

Mike Garafolo on the contract talks between kansas City Chiefs and Orlando Brown

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The Chiefs don’t have a ton of leverage in this situation, if Brown is willing to take things to the extreme. Because he never signed the franchise tender, he isn’t subject to the daily $50,000 fines for players who skip a training camp session.

According to Garafolo, that’s already an outcome that the Chiefs need to prepare for now. Based on the wide gap in contract proposals from the two sides, an extension isn’t happening. As a result, Brown could even sit out in Week 1.

“If there’s no long-term deal, I’m not expecting Brown for the start of training camp or really any time during training camp, that is my understanding. Even Week 1 is in question.”

Mike Garafolo on possibility of Orlando Brown holding out

For an offense that already lost Tyreek Hill, missing a Pro Bowl left tackle would deliver a massive blow. Brown could also sit out multiple games, waiting until later in the season to sign his tender before returning.

The money the two sides are arguing over is significant. While the highest-paid left tackles in the NFL make $22-plus million annually, only one right tackle )Ryan Ramczyk) clears a $19 million AAV. If the two sides can’t close the gap, there’s no telling what direction Brown takes things a year after he demanded a trade because another NFL team viewed him as a right tackle.