INDIANAPOLIS — At 6-foot-8, 344 pounds, Orlando Brown Jr. is one of the largest offensive tackles in the NFL and one of the biggest players in Kansas City Chiefs franchise history. His size rivals his importance to the Chiefs. As discussed at the 2022 NFL Combine, the three-time Pro Bowl left tackle is a high priority to retain for the Chiefs and general manager Brett Veach.
Chiefs want to re-sign Orlando Brown Jr.
The goal: Keep him as the personal bodyguard to star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“With Orlando, we’re going to work hard to get a deal done,” Veach said Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine.
Ever since posting a rough day at the NFL Scouting Combine and being drafted in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens, Brown has done nothing to disprove the truism that the performance in actual football situations and games matters so much more than physical testing results. The Oklahoma product is a huge, strong blocker who should command big offers if he hits free agency.
During the season, Veach weighed in on Brown.
“As far as Orlando, he was a guy that had a dream to play left tackle and had a small sample size of him playing left tackle at Baltimore,” Veach said. “He’s another unique character too where when you talk about a culture and when you talk about a guy that does everything the right way, Orlando Brown is in the category.”
Brown will be expensive to retain
The Chiefs’ left tackle was selected to the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive year. Brown’s rookie deal is expiring, and Kansas City will likely use the franchise tag if they can’t work out a long-term deal. The way he played last season was encouraging enough to warrant one of those two outcomes.
One estimate for a long-term deal had Brown at five years, $116.6 million. That would be a massive payday for the son of the late Orlando Brown, a former Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns offensive tackle. Brown Jr. is the Chiefs’ long-term answer at left tackle.
Chiefs’ other free agent decisions
The Chiefs would also like to retain veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu and plan to meet with his agent at the combine.
“We communicated that we certainly love Tyrann and Tyrann loves being here,” Veach said. “We’ll start the process this week and hopefully it ends in a positive direction.”
Releasing Anthony Hitchens was difficult
Meanwhile, it was an emotional decision to cut veteran linebacker Anthony Hitchens. The Chiefs saved $8.4 million against the salary cap by doing so, though.
“There are a lot of positives in this job and you get to do a lot of great things, but going through something like that is really difficult, and it’s even more difficult considering the caliber of person of Anthony Hitchens,” Veach said.
“When you look at the textbook definition of what a pro is, it’s Anthony Hitchens. He does everything the right way. First in, last out type of guy. Cares about the profession. I’m sure he’ll play a few more years in this league. He’s a valuable addition to any locker room. Maybe he ends up back in Kansas City.”
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