KANSAS CITY – The Chiefs saw how a patchwork offensive line cost them a consecutive Super Bowl a couple of years back. Even if it wasn’t due to anything they really did wrong.
It was obvious 2021 was the year to upgrade the offensive line and that’s exactly what the Chiefs did.
Now, in 2022, it’s about keeping the offensive line intact for both this season and the future.
That’s why ESPN’s Field Yates suggests the Chiefs wrap up their contract extension talks with Orlando Brown Jr. in the near future.
Yates recently wrote the following in regard to both parties’ situation:
“Kansas City’s left tackle received the franchise tag this offseason, an expected outcome after the Chiefs traded for him in 2021 as he was entering the final year of his rookie deal. Brown rewarded the team’s decision to acquire him with a Pro Bowl season as part of the revamped offensive line. This deal strikes me as likely to get done and likely to be a hefty one that Brown has earned.
Kansas City has a roster that includes a handful of players at or near the top of the market but has long been incredibly well managed on the cap by its VP of football operations, Brandt Tilis. Something around $20 million (or a hair more) per year seems like a reasonable estimate for Brown.”
The Chiefs can get a deal done with Brown Jr. before training camp
This is because they have more than the money to do so.
As it stands, the Chiefs have a little over $14 million in cap room, which is 13th in the NFL, per Over The Cap. The catch with that figure, however, is it already includes Brown Jr.’s $16.662 million franchise tag, even though Brown Jr. has yet to sign the tag.
So, the Chiefs are technically already accounting for Brown Jr.’s tag. And they still have over $14 million in cap room.
A long-term deal Brown Jr. would drastically reduce his personal 2022 cap hit. Unless Brett Veach screws up massively (which he won’t), Brown Jr.’s 2022 cap hit will likely be very minimal. It’d be a surprise to see it surpass more than $10-$11 million.
Brown Jr. recently said it wouldn’t be a good idea to go into this season with a backup left tackle, so he’s certainly putting the pressure on the Chiefs to make something happen.
Whether or not something does happen remains to be seen. But it’s clear this can happen if both parties can come to an eventual agreement.
You can check out Yates’ full column, here.
Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports