Prior to the Kansas City Chiefs acquiring Orlando Brown Jr. from the Baltimore Ravens, the main sticking point for many pundits opposed to the idea was the understanding that the Chiefs would soon need to sign the Pro Bowl offensive tackle to a lucrative long-term contract.
With the blockbuster trade finalized and Brown still on the final year of his rookie deal, the timing of a potential extension has been top of mind throughout Chiefs Kingdom.
Following the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 29, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach addressed the topic with the media for the first time since landing the stalwart left tackle.
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Veach Reveals Chiefs & Brown Have Had ‘Open Dialogue’
Already a strong sign for Chiefs fans, Brown confirmed that he wants to remain with his new team “for a long time” during his introductory press conference in Kansas City. Now, thanks to some new insight from Veach, it appears the feelings are indeed mutual at One Arrowhead Drive.
“We’ll see,” Veach said when asked about timing on a new deal. “We have some different things we’re working through. We had great dialogue with him and his agent before the trade and if something got worked out, great, but they were also content on playing it out and having us have some time to work through some other stuff and get into next offseason.
“As we all know, the cap situation will probably increase and there will be more flexibility and we can get more creative. So, whether that be this year or next year, we have some time. But I think the important thing for us was there was open dialogue and both parties understood that if it couldn’t get done, we’d go into the season and try and knock it out.”
Could Brown Become the NFL’s Highest-Paid O-Lineman?
As far as what enticed Veach and the front office to surrender four draft selections for Brown’s services, including this year’s first-rounder, it was all about the ability to quickly plug a major need with a proven player.
“Picking 31 and wanting to have a plug-and-play guy and not just a tackle — a real tackle, a Pro Bowl-caliber tackle,” Veach said. “Had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people during this process that worked with Orlando in the past and knew Orlando. It was very consistent on what we had on him coming out. Just a high-character guy, really smart, loves the process. All the things we talk about when we talk about these checked boxes for these offensive linemen.”
According to NFL contracts and salary cap expert Joel Corry of CBS Sports, “it would not be surprising for Brown to push to become the NFL’s first $25 million-per-year offensive lineman next offseason.”
For now, the 2018 third-round pick is set to pocket a modest $3.4 million salary in 2021 compared to his impressive resume at only 25 years old.
Brown Helped Influence Chiefs’ 2nd-Round Pick
Making the second of two picks during Friday’s second round, the Chiefs welcomed center Creed Humphrey to the club with the 63rd overall selection. Like Brown, Humphrey spent his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma, where he allowed zero sacks across 37 starts and 2,488 snaps.
Speaking to the media for the first time since the Super Bowl in February, head coach Andy Reid revealed that his new left tackle put in a good word for the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year upon his arrival at team headquarters.
“Orlando told us to go get Creed,” Reid said, per the team. “When he was here, he goes: ‘There’s a good one in Oklahoma, you need to take a peek at.’ So, we already had our eye on him, but it was neat for Orlando to put it out there to us that way.”
While Humphrey — a rare left-handed center — comes with a strong pedigree, the 21-year-old is expected to compete for the starting job this offseason with free agent signing Austin Blythe, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!