2023 NFL free agency: Chiefs could franchise tag Orlando Brown Jr., eye long-term deal with free agent tackle

Orlando Brown Jr. was a big reason for the Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration on February. But the star left tackle is still without a long-term contract in Kansas City. And this may be true for the foreseeable future. With 2023 fast approaching, The Athletic reported last month that the Chiefs are expected to use the franchise tag on Brown for a second straight offseason.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Brown is technically the Chiefs’ top free agent infielder, as Nate Taylor noted last month, but all indications are that he’ll “never hit the open market.” Brown earned a fully guaranteed $16.7 million with the tag in 2022. A second consecutive tag would boost those earnings by 120 percent, meaning he would be paid just under $20 million in 2023.

“We went through that path last year,” general manager Brett Veach said at the NFL combine, according to Pro Football Talk. “As always, it’s more beneficial for us to do something long-term. That’s why this season is so important to us and really this is the beginning. We’re going to have a lot of dialogue; as you know, the combination is great for come in here and see the new college talent, but a lot of time here is spent talking to our players’ agents, so (we’re) starting to exchange information. (And) unlike last year, I think we have at least one We got to know his team a little bit better. We’re excited to we started that process here and hopefully we can figure something out.”

The Chiefs offered Brown a six-year, $139 million extension before the 2022 season, according to ESPN, which would make the former Ravens the NFL’s highest-paid left tackle. However, the two sides have been unable to reach a long-term deal since Kansas City acquired the veteran in 2021 as part of a blockbuster trade of six different draft picks.

Trent Williams of the 49ers is currently the highest paid at the position, earning an average of $23.01 million per year. The Packers’ David Bakhtiari ($23 million) is the only other tackle — left or right — making at least $23 million annually. It makes sense that Brown, 26, would once again try to clearly put the market back on a potential long-term deal, especially after winning his first Super Bowl ring.

Teams can apply the tag until March 7. If the tagged players sign their offers, they have until July 15 to reach a contract extension, otherwise they will have to play out the season on the one-year deal.

“I kind of stay out of that world (of contracts),” Chiefs coach Andy Reid previously said of Brown and colleague Andrew Wylie, per Pro Football Talk , “but I think both guys I like them a lot here too. sure (general manager) Brett (Veach) will definitely try hard to keep them here. But we’ll see how it goes.”

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