A year ago Saturday — on April 23, 2021 — the Kansas City Chiefs traded their first, third and fourth-round 2021 picks (plus Kansas City’s fifth-round pick in 2022) to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for tackle Orlando Brown, Jr. — along with the Ravens’ second-round pick (which the Chiefs used to select Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton) and their fifth-round pick in 2022.
Using the famous Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, the Chiefs got their new left tackle for the equivalent of the 12th pick of the second round. (Using my new AV-based trade value chart, Kansas City got Brown for the equivalent of the draft’s 33st pick — the first pick of the second round).
But Brown was going into the final season of his rookie contract. He played it out in 2021, starting every one of Kansas City’s games and earning his third consecutive Pro Bowl nod. Pro Football Focus gave him a season grade of 75.3, which ranked 28th among the league’s tackles.
On March 8, Kansas City placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on Brown. If the two sides cannot work out a contract before mid-July, Brown will be paid $16.6 million for the coming season.
But Kansas City would rather make a long-term deal with their left tackle — one that will give them some cap relief in 2022 and tie the 25-year-old Brown to the team until his late 20s. Speaking to reporters during his annual pre-draft press conference on Friday, general manager Brett Veach said that they began their conversations with Brown — who currently represents himself — last summer.
“We did have a dialogue with him — and then during the course of that dialogue, he [took] a step back,” said Veach. “He’s kind of re-doing the agent process. Where we are right now — in addition to the Tyreek Hill trade, with our cap and having flexibility now — it allows us to take a step back [and] get through this draft.”
The 2022 NFL Draft will begin this coming Thursday in Las Vegas.
“We certainly anticipate that once the draft’s over, I’m sure that there’ll be a point where there’s a finale to him going out there and finding an agent,” said Veach. “We’ll have a ton of time to talk.”
Veach compared it to the situation with Kansas City defensive tackle Chris Jones, who signed his contract extension on July 14, 2020.
“You guys know how the Chris Jones deal went; it was right there near the end,” noted Veach. “That’s typically how all of these things go: where there’s no rush on either side. On one end, the player really likes to take their time to really assess the current (and future) markets. On the flip side, the team is going through a draft process. They have a ton on their plate — trying to get through meetings and get through the board. And then — usually after — everyone just takes a deep breath. The draft ends and there’s that chunk of time in between the final mandatory OTAs [in which] there’s a lot of dialogue.”
But whether that dialogue will be with an agent — or Brown himself — remains to be seen. Veach said he didn’t know how Brown would decide to handle his representation.
“I’d hate to misspeak,” said Veach, “because that’s a big decision — and I certainly will not influence that either way. I think he’s a really smart guy. He’ll make a great decision. Whoever he decides to hire — or if he wants to represent himself — we’ll be more than happy to sit down and talk long-term extension.”