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All signs point to Orlando Brown being the left tackle of the present — and future

General manager Brett Veach: ‘He’s as dependable as there is.’

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

While the Los Angeles Rams enjoy their champagne, Kansas City’s front office has work to do. Falling short of the ultimate goal, KC heads into the offseason with a litany of items on their to-do list.

Left tackle Orlando Brown’s future is principal among those items, according to general manager Brett Veach, who spoke at length about offensive lineman during his year-end address with local reporters.

“When you talk about a guy that does everything the right way, Orlando Brown’s in that category,” said the general manager in his season-closing statements.

Traded from Baltimore to Kansas City in the 2021 offseason, Brown not only became a full-time starting left tackle, but also did it well — starting 16 games and accruing just four penalties over 1,128 offensive snaps.

“He’s as dependable as there is,” Veach continued on Brown, who was named to his third straight Pro Bowl in 2022. “I think he’s done a great job with that left tackle…and we expect him to be our left tackle moving forward.”

Veach’s comments make Kansas City’s intentions known loud and clear, Orlando Brown will remain a Chief for the 2022 season.

But the deal’s framing — the manner in which the team gets it done could shape how the roster looks going into next year. Wrapping up a long-term deal sooner rather than later offers Kansas City more flexibility to make additional moves.

Coming off another strong season, Brown (and his representation) will undoubtedly push for top-of-market value. San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams is the league’s highest-paid tackle currently, reportedly earning just north of $23 million per year.

“When you have that scenario..where the player loves the team and the team loves the player, I think things are always more likely to get worked out,” Veach began. “It’d be beneficial for us because it allows us to do more things.”

Brown collected a hair over $3.3 million in the last year of his rookie contract in 2021.

No deal? No problem, as Kansas City has leverage with the franchise tag.

According to Spotrac, a one-year transition tag would cost the Chiefs just north of $13.5 mil in the upcoming year, while a franchise tag would tack on an extra million.

While the process could get choppy, the end result looks in clear focus between Kansas City and Brown.

“It’s always easier to get something done when players see a place like Kansas City as a long-term place for them,” Veach finished.

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