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Reports: Orlando Brown Jr. will join Bengals on four-year contract

The AFC’s best rivalry just got even spicier.

NFL: Super Bowl LVII Opening Night Michael Chow/The Republic

Former Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. finally has his long-term contract — and in the end, he landed with what now seems to be Kansas City’s greatest out-of-division rival: the Cincinnati Bengals.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero provided the details:

Brown, 26, joined the Chiefs via trade from the Baltimore Ravens in late April 2021. Brown arrived with an extreme desire to play left tackle — which worked for Kansas City, as it needed one after the departure of the injured Eric Fisher. Brown completed the final year of his contract, agreeing to work with the Chiefs on a long-term deal the following offseason.

Kansas City tagged Brown the following offseason, but negotiations were delayed because the offensive tackle did not have an agent. Once he did — in early June — talks between the two sides began. In the end, they could not come to an agreement. Brown played the season on the franchise tag.

Kansas City’s final offer to Brown ahead of 2022 was a six-year, $139 million dollar contract, a $23.16 million average per year or — as our John Dixon described here$19 million a season over five years. Obviously, the Chiefs chose not to double down with another tag this offseason.

The annual number of $19 million is more than the Bengals offered — and he accepted. However, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport describes, the Cincinnati contract is more like a lucrative three-year deal — after which, he could presumably work out a new contract.

At this point — after the Chiefs have found the player who will most likely be their next left tackle in former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor — it’s fair to say that Brown and his team (even with a $31 million signing bonus) may have miscalculated his value on the open market — and his demand.

It appears there are some sour grapes here — especially given this note from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, saying that part of Brown’s attraction to Cincinnati was playing Kansas City in the playoffs:

“I’m super thankful for the opportunity to carry on my father’s legacy and be a left tackle,” said Brown in a later Garafolo tweet. “It was important to be able to play that position and play for a winning team and a winning quarterback. Who Dey!”

As Kansas City’s dynasty begins, its rivalry with the Bengals just grew more bitter.

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