What’s next for Chiefs LT Orlando Brown Jr. after failing to agree on contract extension?

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The Kansas City Chiefs and franchise-tagged LT Orlando Brown Jr. have officially failed to come to an agreement on a long-term deal ahead of Friday’s deadline.

The two sides had until 3:00 p.m. CT on Friday, July 15 to agree upon a multi-year contract extension. Unfortunately, the team and Brown Jr. were unable to bridge the gap in extension talks. Kansas City did make an aggressive push to get him signed long-term, reportedly offering a six-year extension worth up to $139 million.

Failing to agree on an extension means that Brown Jr. and the team cannot negotiate a new contract until after the 2022 NFL season. He is now set to play on the franchise tag, where he’ll earn a fully-guaranteed $16.6 million.

Brown Jr. hasn’t yet signed the franchise tag, which is a loophole that will allow him to skip out on training camp without the team being able to issue fines. New reports claim that Brown Jr. is still deciding whether he’ll report to training camp on time (July 25). Older reports from NFL Network suggest he has threatened to hold out from regular-season games, but it’s unlikely that will happen as he’d be forfeiting guaranteed money and an opportunity to showcase his talents for a future payday.

In his first full season starting at left tackle, Brown Jr. started 19 games including the playoffs. He finished the 2021 NFL season with a 75.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, with a 76.1 pass-blocking grade in 765 snaps in pass protection. He allowed four sacks, 36 pressures and seven penalties on the year.

The Chiefs always maintained that they wanted to keep Brown Jr. after acquiring him in a trade with the Ravens ahead of the 2021 NFL season. They knew that the franchise tag would be a tool in their toolkit to help them get a deal done, but that it wasn’t a guarantee. Expect the two sides to resume contract negotiations following the 2022 NFL season. A good season this year could turn into a bigger payday for Brown Jr. during the 2023 offseason. Kansas City could also exercise a second franchise tag, paying 120% of the prior year’s salary ($19.9M). In the end, the trade will still yield the team three years of control.

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Reviewing Chiefs' left tackle options if Orlando Brown Jr. holds out