The Chiefs lose Brown to Cincinnati after he spent two years protecting Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.
The 2023 NFL free agency season is in full swing and with that, the Kansas City Chiefs have witnessed their offensive line undergo some changes. After it was reported that right tackle Andrew Wylie was set to become a member of the Washington Commanders and former Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Jawaan Taylor was coming to Kansas City, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Orlando Brown Jr.’s future with the club.
That turned out to be the case, as Brown is reportedly joining the Cincinnati Bengals on a four-year deal worth $64.092 million. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network first had the news and details:
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Brown gets 67.87% of his $64.1M figure fully guaranteed, with $42.3 of it through year two and $49.9 through year three. NFL Network‘s Mike Garafolo confirms that the deal is for Brown to play left tackle, adding that he spoke with Brown and he had the following to say about becoming a Bengal:
“I’m super thankful for the opportunity to carry on my father’s legacy and be a left tackle. It was important to be able to play that position and play for a winning team and a winning quarterback. Who Dey!”
For Brown, this marks the official end of his tenure in Kansas City after general manager Brett Veach completed a big-time trade to acquire him prior to the 2021 NFL Draft. In two seasons as a Chief, Brown made 33 of his possible 34 starts in the regular season and was a Pro Bowler in back-to-back years. He’s now held that distinction in four consecutive campaigns dating back to his time with the Baltimore Ravens, and the Chiefs’ decision to not franchise tag him earlier in March shocked the football world. Brown subsequently hit the open market after he and the team’s respective camps couldn’t agree on a contract extension, paving the way for Cincinnati to swoop in via free agency.
Brown graded out favorably for his efforts in 2022, ranking as Pro Football Focus‘ No. 20 offensive tackle in composite offensive grade. He was 31st in overall pass block grade, recording a league-high 843 opportunities in pass protection. With that, however, Brown also surrendered more pressures and hurries than any tackle in the entire league and struggled immensely at times. A knee injury limited him early in the season, although his play never quite aligned with the contract he wanted from the Chiefs even once he got healthier.
While Brown’s ride in Kansas City was bumpy at times, the trade was undoubtedly worth it. The Chiefs gave up roughly the equivalent of a second-round pick for him once the dust settled, and they paid around $20M over the course of two years for some solid left tackle play. Brown helped the team win a Super Bowl, which is the ultimate prize. He’s a champion. With Brown now moving on and Taylor in the fold to (potentially) take his place, there’s a clear resolution reached.