With their mandatory minicamp now behind them, the Kansas City Chiefs’ players, coaches and executives will now retire for the NFL’s summer break, which will last until teams begin their training camps in late July.
But at least a few people in the organization have some urgent business that must be concluded before then: getting a new long-term deal for left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. by the July 15 deadline.
When reporters asked questions about it after Thursday’s final minicamp session, it was obvious that the team expects a long-term deal will be made — very likely reducing the $16.7 million cap hit that Brown will have if he plays on the franchise tag in 2022.
Still, Andy Reid said little more than he’s already said about the situation.
“I’m not doing a whole lot of conversing with him — but Brett and his crew are,” said the head coach. “These things don’t ever happen overnight; that’s not how it works. But they’ll work through it — [and] I know both sides will handle it the right way and come to a spot that’s good for both Orlando and the team.”
Reid did, however, allow himself to say that he believes Brown improved during the 2021 season.
“I thought he got better,” said Reid, who called Brown “a nice addition” to the offensive line. “Again, he’s a young guy, so there’s plenty of room to grow. He’s wired the right way to attack that. I know he’s been working out — and doing the things he needs to do to get himself ready for camp. He’s a young guy who is new to the position. He’s on the rise, I would hope.”
But when he took his turn with the media, quarterback Patrick Mahomes was much more specific about the possibility a deal would get done.
“I’m very confident — just ‘cause I know Orlando,” he declared. “I was with him yesterday, actually; I hang out with him a lot. He loves football. He loves the Kansas City Chiefs; he loves being here in this organization.”
Mahomes said that he’s in a position to know how Brown feels. He explained that the two players’ wives have become friends — and that each family has a child about the same age. That’s added up to lots of time together.
“So now,” continued Mahomes, “it’s just kind of the stuff that’s always tough: the business side of this. I mean, all of us want to provide for our families in the long-term and next generations — so I know he’s trying to get that all handled.
“But as far as loving the Chiefs — and loving football — there’s not another person in this building that loves it as much as he does.”