At one point in time, the Kansas City Chiefs needed all the help they could get up front to protect Patrick Mahomes. That was made very clear in the 2020 Super Bowl against Tampa Bay.
For those who may have forgotten, Mahomes was pressured 29 times in that game. Which, if you didn’t already know, is a Super Bowl record. The Buccaneers did their job, and the Chiefs’ patchwork offensive line didn’t, which forced the Chiefs to make some moves.
Last year was the first year with a whole new look up front. This look involved Joe Thuney, Orlando Brown Jr., and two rookies in Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith.
And, if you watched any of the Chiefs games last year, you know that it worked. The offensive line was so much better than it had been before. Every guy was making sure Mahomes came out of a game as healthy as can be.
So, it’s important to keep the crew together as long as possible, right? Of course.
Which what is what makes Wednesday’s news all the more exciting for the Chiefs and their fans.
Chiefs, Brown Jr. should reach agreement on long-term deal before July 15 deadline
While Brown Jr. isn’t the best left tackle in the league, the Chiefs were very pleased with his play in 2021, which is the root of why they want to sign him to a long-term deal, per ESPN‘s Dan Graziano.
”This is a player they traded a first-round pick for [and] they like the way he played at left tackle for them,” Graziano said on Wednesday morning’s edition of Sportscenter. “And it makes sense to get a deal done.
“All along it sounded like things have been positive on these talks. I think this is a player that should have a pretty good chance to get locked up before next Friday’s deadline. The market is what it is for left tackles, I think they knew that when they made the deal for him.”
Graziano is right, too. The Chiefs knew what they were doing when they made the trade and started him at a position that is highly coveted around the league.
Last year was Brown Jr.’s first year playing left tackle, as he played 1128 snaps at the position for Kansas City, per Pro Football Reference. The fifth-year player asked to be traded from the Ravens so he could play left tackle and as it turned out, he was right. He is certainly capable of playing the position at a high level.
According to Pro Football Focus, Brown Jr. finished last season with an overall grade of 75.4, a pass-blocking grade of 76.1, and a run-blocking grade of 67.
If the Chiefs are able to reach a deal, they’ll have their starting offensive line locked up for the foreseeable future, which is a rarity in the NFL.
And at the end of the day, it’ll make a potent offense even more so.
Featured image via Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports