The extension deadline has passed for the Chiefs and their franchise-tagged left tackle. Details have emerged regarding where each side stood in the contract talks.
Details have emerged from contract talks between the Chiefs and their left tackle, Orlando Brown Jr. Brown, who is currently franchise tagged by the team (but yet to sign his tender), has reportedly been seeking a contract that would place him among the league’s highest-paid tackles.
For weeks there have been rumors and speculation regarding what a contract extension would look like for Brown. As the deadline for an extension passed on Friday, news slowly started leaking about what offer the Chiefs had given to their left tackle. We also received news about what sort of contract the Pro-Bowler was seeking.
With the scoop now in, what does it mean for both sides?
The Chiefs Offered A Lot Of Money; Just Not Where It Mattered
The team reportedly offered Brown a six-year contract that would have paid him just north of $23 million per year. In total, Brown would have received a six-year, $139 million contract with a $30.25 million signing bonus.
No deal between Chiefs and Orlando Brown will get done today, but KC was aggressive. Its final offer was a six-year, $139 million deal ($23.16M avg) that included a $30.25 million signing bonus and $95 million in first five years. Both sides hope for new deal after this season. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 15, 2022
For the Chiefs, the contract would have likely been structured in a way that would make Brown’s cap hit manageable. It likely would have allowed the team to release Brown following year three to reduce the risk to the team. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network touched on this somewhat in a tweet on Friday:
More on the #Chiefs’ contract proposal to Orlando Brown: A source says the offer was for $91 million over the first five years. The sixth year had a $40m+ salary strictly to inflate the average annual value to the top of the market. That year would’ve never been meant to be paid. https://t.co/dnytvtAiHR — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 15, 2022
The proposal made by Kansas City included a sixth-year contract hit of over $40 million. Much like the Tyreek Hill contract, this would inflate the average annual value of the contract with no intention of being paid by the team. The Chiefs would have likely released Brown following year five (if not sooner), effectively reducing the real value of the contract.
Is the team being fair to Brown? After all, he has been a solid left tackle. He’s even been a member of multiple Pro Bowl teams. However, the consensus around the league is that Brown is not a top-five tackle. Some don’t even include him in the top ten. For this reason, Brown — who was rumored to be seeking a market reset in a new contract — and the Chiefs seemed to be just too far apart in contract discussions.
Not only did news break of what Kansas City was willing to offer the left tackle. We have also received news of what the tackle’s camp was looking for in a contract extension. Brown was seeking a six-year contract worth $139 million, which the team matched. He wanted $71 million in fully guaranteed money, which would have exceeded that of the Baltimore Ravens’ left-tackle Ronnie Stanley.
From @ByNateTaylor The contract that Orlando Brown's camp wanted was around these numbers: 6 years for $139M $33-34M in signing bonus $71M fully guaranteed (more than Ronnie Stanley) — Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison) July 15, 2022
It seems clear that the difference between the two camps lies in the guaranteed money and long-term security. Kansas City is willing to guarantee the contract for the next two seasons. Brown and his agent are looking for more long-term security than that would offer.
What Is Next In This Saga Between The Chiefs And Orlando Brown?
What comes next will depend entirely on how much hardball Brown and his agent wish to play. The left tackle is yet to sign his franchise tag. This means he can hold out of the entirety of preseason without losing any money to fines. Once the season starts, Brown will begin losing nearly $1 million per game in lost game checks. His salary for the upcoming season is set to be just over $16 million if he signs his franchise tag.
If Brown suits up next season and is present in Week One, as many suspect, then the two sides will return to the drawing board next season in hopes of reaching a long-term agreement. The Chiefs hold Brown’s rights for the next two seasons, whether a contract extension is reached or not. They can place a second franchise tag on Brown after the 2022 season that would pay Brown $20 million to play for the team in 2023.
In essence, Kansas City still has their tackle locked up on a two-year, $36 million contract. They can tag Brown a third time following 2023, in which case he would make a very substantial salary. In that case, he would earn the greatest amount of the following:
120% of the average of the top five salaries at his position
144% of his second franchise tag salary
The average of the top five highest salaries for the highest paid position in the league
Since Brown would essentially be playing at quarterback money, there’s a microscopic chance the team would tag him a third year in a row. For now, the two sides remain far apart and the only thing left for both sides is to prepare for the 2022 season.
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Who would you like to see the Chiefs utilize at left tackle if they are without Orlando Brown Jr. for any period of time next season? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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