hen the offseason came for the Kansas City Chiefs, a decision had to be made: should they franchise tag starting left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. or safety Tyrann Mathieu? Chiefs brass opted to tag their Pro Bowl offensive lineman, leading Mathieu to free agency, which is where he remains.
Tagging Brown meant he was on the books with a $16.6 million cap hit in 2022. To reduce that figure, Chiefs general manager Veach said on March 1 — before the Chiefs had tagged Brown — that Kansas City would tag Brown and “work hard to get a deal done with him.”
Veach has now told us when the new deal with Brown could be finalized.
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Chiefs Will Address Brown’s Deal After Draft
“We did have a dialogue with [Brown] — and then during the course of that dialogue, he [took] a step back,” Veach told the media during his pre-draft press conference on April 22. “He’s kind of re-doing the agent process. Where we are right now — in addition to the Tyreek Hill trade, with our cap and having flexibility now — it allows us to take a step back [and] get through this draft.”
After the draft, the Chiefs will have roughly three months before training camp starts, which is plenty of time to come to terms on a deal that locks up Kansas City’s Pro Bowl left tackle long term.
“We certainly anticipate that once the draft’s over, I’m sure that there’ll be a point where there’s a finale to him going out there and finding an agent,” said Veach. “We’ll have a ton of time to talk.”
Veach Compares Brown’s Situation to Chris Jones’
In 2020, star defensive tackle Chris Jones was in the final year of his rookie deal with the Chiefs. It wasn’t until July 14 of that year that Jones and Kansas City agreed to a three-year deal that paid him $60 million in guarantees, per ESPN. The amount of patience it took from both sides to get that deal done in the final hours of the offseason is a situation he compared to the Orlando Brown Jr. negotiations.
“You guys know how the Chris Jones deal went; it was right there near the end,” Veach explained. “That’s typically how all of these things go: where there’s no rush on either side. On one end, the player really likes to take their time to really assess the current [and future] markets. On the flip side, the team is going through a draft process.
“They have a ton on their plate — trying to get through meetings and get through the board,” Veach continued. “And then — usually after — everyone just takes a deep breath. The draft ends and there’s that chunk of time in between the final mandatory OTAs [in which] there’s a lot of dialogue.”
Whether it’s with representation or without when the negotiations during the post-draft phase of the offseason begin, Veach is confident a deal will get done.
“I’d hate to misspeak because that’s a big decision — and I certainly will not influence that either way. I think [Brown’s] a really smart guy. He’ll make a great decision,” Veach said. “Whoever he decides to hire — or if he wants to represent himself — we’ll be more than happy to sit down and talk long-term extension.”