Projecting a contract extension for Chiefs LT Orlando Brown Jr.

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There has been a lot of recent chatter about a contract extension between LT Orlando Brown Jr. and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brown Jr. remains on the hunt for an agent and nothing between the two sides is imminent, but there remains a lot of optimism that a deal can get done before the July 15th deadline for the teams to extend franchise-tagged players. What might a deal between the Chiefs and Brown look like, though?

A contract extension could very well rival the top contracts handed out to left tackles in the national football league. Brown is just 26 years old, playing a premium position and had the franchise tag placed on him this offseason. Any extension will use that franchise tag number as a starting point, meaning Brown will earn a minimum of $16.6 million per year annually. Given recent contracts at the position, I’d expect something more in line with a $20 million per year average.

Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley received a five-year, $98.75 million extension with $70.8 million guaranteed from the Ravens in late October of 2020. That contract is going to be the one to beat, but there are a few other notable extensions since. Kolton Miller signed an extension, receiving a three-year, $54.15 million extension with $42.5 million guaranteed from the Raiders in April. In March, the Dolphins signed Terron Armstead to a five-year deal worth $75 million with $43.3 million guaranteed. Again, this is a premium position and when it comes time for players at this position to get paid, it’s going to cost a team.

When you hear that Brown Jr. wants to be the highest-paid offensive tackle, just remember a few things. Firstly, the highest-paid isn’t always the best player at that position, but simply the most recent to sign a long-term deal. Things like contract structure, signing bonus and distribution of guaranteed money will be much more important for Kansas City. A few years down the line, his deal could be looking like a steal, especially with contracts coming up for young players at the position like Isaiah Wynn and Andre Dillard in 2023.

The second thing to remember is that the Chiefs were willing to make Trent Williams the highest-paid tackle in the NFL during the 2021 free agency period. Williams opted to return to the 49ers on a six-year contract worth over $138 million. That’s something that Brown Jr. and his agent-to-be will be very aware of during negotiations.

People will try to discredit Brown Jr.’s 2021 NFL season, saying he’s not deserving of a long-term extension that makes him among the highest-paid tackles in the league. Reliability has always been a strong suit, as he missed just one game last season due to an injury in pre-game warmups. His run-blocking was quite consistent and his pass-blocking improved as the season went on. In the final five games of the regular season, Brown Jr. allowed no sacks and just six pressures.

Back to the topic du jour — What could a contract extension between the Chiefs and Brown Jr. look like? A five-year, $105 million extension with $72 million guaranteed would hit all of the benchmarks that Brown and a future agent will likely be looking for. Those numbers would put him behind only Williams in terms of the total value, but also puts him ahead of Stanley in terms of per-year average and guaranteed money. That number could also help free up some cap space in the interim which could help Kansas City pursue a bigger move either ahead of the season or at the trade deadline.

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Chiefs news roundup — 5/29/2022