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This Pending Chiefs Free Agent Has Fumbled The Bag

Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown has made it very clear that he wants to become the highest-paid left tackle in the league. That honor currently sits with San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams, who signed a six-year, $138 million contract extension in 2021. That deal also came with over $55 million guaranteed. That would be quite the price tag for a Kansas Chiefs team who is starting to pay for their own franchise player in Patrick Mahomes, who is signed to a 10-year, $450 million extension of his own.

While it is understood that left tackle is a position of prime importance, the Chiefs are wanting to make sure that their money is being well-spent. It makes sense that to become the highest-paid at any position, one would have to be among the best at that position. As it stands right now, Orlando Brown’s play has not warranted that high of a price tag.

Previous Talks Between Brown And The Chiefs Weren’t Close

After being selected for his third straight Pro Bowl in 2021, both the Chiefs and Brown were hoping to come together for a long-term extension that off-season. It appeared that would be the case up until Brown hired Michael Portner of Delta Sports Group to represent him. Brown was representing himself up to that point, which was viewed as more of an obstacle than anything else. The hire of Portner, who had not represented an athlete before this hire, seemed to indicate a willingness to make a mutually beneficial deal happen.

That, however, was not the case. Even though Kansas City offered Brown a front-loaded six-year, $139 million extension with a $30.25 signing bonus, Brown’s camp turned it down citing a lack of security over the life of the deal. This led to Brown playing the 2022 season on a franchise tag worth over $16.6 million in the hopes of getting a bigger deal during the next offseason.

The back-and-forth between Orlando Brown’s camp and the Chiefs created a rift between the two parties. Head Coach Andy Reid, who does not usually comment on these types of things, had some not-so-friendly words about the whole situation.

📹VIDEO: Andy Reid on #Chiefs Orlando Brown: "If he's here, great and if he's not…we move on." — Aaron Ladd (@aaronladd0) July 22, 2022

The front office seemed to be even more frustrated with Brown’s situation than Coach Reid. According to NFL Network’s Jeffri Chadiha, the front office felt that Brown misled them on his willingness to compromise on a long-term deal. Even though it was reported that Kansas City was sitting around the $19 million per year mark, they boosted their offer to over $23 million and Brown’s camp still turned them down. That combined with the threat of holding out and Brown’s neophyte agent asking for over $25 million a year had cast a pall over how Brown was viewed by the organization and the fan base en masse.

After the contract talks stalled out, Brown ended up reporting to Chiefs camp on August 1 after signing his one-year franchise tag. Brown made a bet on himself, passing up on a lucrative offer in the hopes that he would get the deal he had been looking for. Gambling, as it turns out, does have a tendency to not always turn out positive.

Brown’s Play For The Chiefs Hasn’t Helped His Case In 2022

As indicated in yesterday’s column, Orlando Brown’s play has been less than stellar this year. Going into Monday Night’s game against the Raiders, Brown ranked near the bottom in most offensive line statistical categories. He was tied for the most quarterback hurries given up and in the bottom five for hits allowed, pressures, and sacks given up. Brown’s abysmal performance against Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones only made those numbers worse as Jones was wreaking havoc in the backfield most of the night.

That has been the theme for most of this season for Brown as he has struggled mightily against some of the better defensive ends in the league, specifically in pass protection. The Buffalo Bills are next up on the schedule and they also have a stud pass rusher in their employ. Future Hall Of Famer Von Miller was acquired by Buffalo this off-season for this very purpose: get to Patrick Mahomes. Brown’s poor play has to have Miller and the rest of the Bills pass rushers feeling awfully confident that they will accomplish that goal.

Orlando Brown’s production this year has shown that there are exceptions to every rule. This rule — as laid out by the late, great Terez Paylor — is that the contract year is undefeated. Brown has shown to this point that may not always be the case. There is still quite a bit of season left to go and Brown has the talent to be able to turn it around so it will be worth watching to see how he responds to the early adversity. Right now, however, Brown is fumbling the bag and his gamble to turn down Kansas City’s offer this past season is coming up snake-eyes.


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