After the Kansas City Chiefs failed to reach a deal with their franchise-tagged left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. before the July 15 deadline, Brown has decided — at least for the moment — not to sign his franchise contract tender.
Without that signature, he’s not under contract with the team. Therefore, he is not required to attend training camp practices that are now underway at Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Suggestions have been made that because of his actions, the team might have soured on Brown — and could therefore be considering trading him to another team or even withdrawing his franchise tender.
But speaking with the Kansas City Star this week, Kansas City general manager Brett Veach gave no hint that the team is angry with Brown — or any that any such move is under consideration.
“The agency has advisors around him, and we respect his decision,” said Veach. “And it’s not going to limit our pursuit of him next year. We’re gonna continue to try to get him locked up.”
Veach said he didn’t know when (or if) Brown would sign the tender and report.
“I haven’t gotten any indication of when that might happen,” said the GM. “But again, obviously there’s the time frame that he has until he has to officially report.”
For the moment, Brown can continue to remain on the sidelines without a financial penalty. Since he is not under contract, he cannot be fined for missing practices. But once the regular season begins, every game he misses will cost him $982,000 — one 17th of his $16.7 million salary under the franchise tag. While the franchise tag contract will be fully guaranteed when Brown signs it, he cannot be paid for any game that takes place before he does so.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs have had former Houston Texans offensive tackle Roderick Johnson taking most of the first-team reps at left tackle during training camp practices. Each practice that Brown misses will make it that much harder to get back into shape so that he can begin the season as the team’s starting left tackle.
But at least for the moment, Veach said the team isn’t allowing that to impact how it views Brown.
“This is the business side. It’s not always pretty, but it’s reality. But that won’t at all limit our want or desire to put this behind us and then hopefully get something done next year with him.”
Veach said that whenever Brown returns to the fold, he will be welcomed.
“All I know is that we’re excited and anxious to get him back,” he said. “And when he is ready to come back, we’re going to welcome him with open arms. I’m sure that Coach [Andy Reid] and I will get a chance to have a good conversation with him, and we’ll certainly let him know how much we love him [and] appreciate him.”