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Report: Chiefs place franchise tag on Orlando Brown Jr.

Kansas City makes a move that has been expected ever since the team traded for Brown last offseason.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Kansas City Chiefs are placing the franchise tag on their free-agent left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. for the 2022 season. The Chiefs later confirmed on Monday evening.

This move has been expected ever since Kansas City traded a package of draft picks to the Baltimore Ravens in order to acquire Brown just before the 2021 NFL Draft. At that time, Brown had just one year remaining on his rookie contract. It’s now a near-certainty that Brown will play for the Chiefs this season.

Brown will be designated with the non-exclusive franchise tag, which means that he is free to negotiate with other teams. If another team makes Brown an offer, Kansas City has the right to match that offer to retain him. If the Chiefs choose not to match it, Brown may be signed by the other team — but it will have to give Kansas City two of its first-round draft picks in compensation.

But if none of those things happen — or Brown’s representatives and the team do not agree on a long-term contract before mid-July — he will have a one-year contract to play for the Chiefs. As the salary-cap site Spotrac noted, official franchise-tag figures are not yet available. Its projections indicate, however, that Brown will be paid $16.5 million under the tag.

NFL teams had until 3 p.m. Tuesday to designate up to one player with a franchise tag. Brown is the first player who has been reported to be tagged for 2022.

The Chiefs now have 57 players on their active roster. With all reported roster moves, we estimate that the team is now about $4.8 million over the salary cap. We expect there will soon be more roster moves to clear additional cap space.

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