Kansas City Chiefs starting left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.’s holdout is officially over.
Brown will report to training camp on Monday, Aug. 1, and has also decided to play the 2022 season on the franchise tag, according to former NFL player and analyst, Robert Griffin III.
“Sources close to Brown say he is in the best shape of his life and knows how important the first 5 days of pads are for him, the team and to HC Andy Reid,” Griffin wrote on Aug. 1.
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NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero shared the reasoning behind Brown opting to end his holdout now.
“#Chiefs franchise-tagged LT Orlando Brown Jr.’s agent, Michael Portner, confirmed Brown will report to camp today and play on the tag: ‘He wanted to be there for padded practice because that’s when leaders are developed’,” Pelissero wrote.
What Led to This Point in Brown/Chiefs Timeline?
After negotiations between Brown and the Chiefs regarding a long-term deal fell through, the Chiefs had some strong thoughts about Brown, which were shared by Chadiha.
“There was frustration and there was disappointment,” Chadiha said while on NFL Network on July 19 of the Chiefs’ stance on Brown rejecting their offer. “They really like Orlando Brown Jr. and they love having him be a part of this team, but the money he was asking for was too high for them. They don’t want to not have stability at left tackle here, but they also don’t want to pay top-of-the-market money for a player that they don’t think is the best player at his position in the NFL.
“One front office person said, ‘This isn’t the same guy that we traded for.’ The feeling there is that when they got him from Baltimore is that he was going to be a team player and work with them on a team-friendly type of deal. That was not the case. Right now we’re looking at a situation where Orlando Brown probably won’t be there for training camp and maybe won’t be there for Week 1.”
The deal Kansas City offered Brown was essentially a five-year contract that would have paid him $91 million, according to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated also shared that Kansas City’s offer to Brown included $38 million fully guaranteed and $52 million in injury guarantees.
The Chiefs were willing to guarantee his money through the 2023 season, per Garafolo. However, Brown and his agent, Michael Portner of Delta Sports Group, felt that the contract didn’t provide much stability for the left tackle in the backend of the deal, according to Pelissero.
“We got really close,” Portner told Pelissero. “We dealing with the Chiefs and we understand their position as well. I’m not gonna let these athletes sign a flashy contract without the substance or security there.”
Because Brown chose to not sign his franchise tender with the Chiefs he was able to miss training camp practices without being fined. However, he would have been eligible for fines had his holdout extended into the regular season.
What Brown Reporting to Camp Means for Chiefs
With Brown now opting to end his holdout and play on the franchise tag, Kansas City’s offensive line is in a much better situation than it was heading into camp. Offensive tackle Roderick Johnson was holding the fort while Brown sat out, meanwhile, there’s a competition taking place for the starting right tackle spot.
So, Brown returning puts the starting offensive line in a more solidified position for padded practices, which begin on Aug. 1.
Brown playing on the franchise tag means he will earn a fully-guaranteed $16.7 million for the 2022 season. After the season is over he will become a free agent.