Late on Friday morning, news broke that the Kansas City Chiefs’ negotiations with their left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. had broken off without an agreement on a new long-term deal.
Originally, it was reported that the team had offered a contract that had a greater average value per year (APY) than the one given to San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams, who in 2021 signed a five-year contract worth $23 million APY. That is the largest APY figure for an NFL left tackle.
But according to figures obtained by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that’s not exactly how the Brown contract would have been likely to play out.
No deal between Chiefs and Orlando Brown will get done today, but KC was aggressive.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 15, 2022
Its final offer was a six-year, $139 million deal ($23.16M avg) that included a $30.25 million signing bonus and $95 million in first five years.
Both sides hope for new deal after this season.
As these figures show, the total value of the contract did average more than $23 million per year. But as always, the APY figure doesn’t come even close to telling the full story.
The key number is the $95 million that would be paid over the first five years. Since signing bonuses can only be pro-rated over the first five years of a contract, this means that the sixth year of the contract would have had to consist of a $44 million base salary.
In a word... wow.
Even though NFL salaries are likely to be much higher by the time the 2027 season rolls around, the likelihood that the Chiefs would have ever paid that $44 million to a 32-year-old Brown would be almost nil. So in essence, Kansas City was really offering a five-year contract with an APY of $19 million.
That figure is well below the deal most observers believed Brown would get.
With this information, it’s easy to see why Brown’s camp balked at the contract — and why the Chiefs can confidently say they made a responsible offer to a left tackle who isn’t yet worthy of being the league’s highest-paid at his position.
The only remaining question is whether Brown will immediately sign the tag and report to training camp with his teammates. If he really wants to earn the payday his representatives insist that he wants, that would be his wisest course of action.