Reviewing Chiefs’ offensive tackle depth following Orlando Brown Jr. decision
The Kansas City Chiefs made a key decision regarded LT Orlando Brown Jr. ahead of the franchise tag deadline. The team will not be placing the franchise tag on Brown Jr. for the second consecutive season. While they still have exclusive negotiating rights, he is likely to test the free agent market when the legal tampering period opens next Monday.
When we took a look at all the players that the Chiefs currently had under contract last month, I noted that the offensive tackle situation was dire. The urgency to improve that position group only increases if Brown Jr. were to walk in free agency.
What exactly does the Chiefs’ offensive tackle depth look like sans Brown Jr. and with free agency on the horizon? Below you’ll find a quick overview of the team’s current depth and players who are pending free agents:
AP Photo/Ed Zurga
Niang is currently the only player on the roster who has started games at both left tackle and right tackle for Kansas City. The big problem throughout his career has been availability. He opted out of his rookie season in Kansas City and suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2021. He came back healthy from that knee injury in 2022 after spending some time on the reserve/PUP list. Niang is now in much better shape than he was prior to his injury, which has created some optimism that he could compete for a starting job with the Chiefs in 2023.
Kinnard entered the league as a right tackle and he certainly had the ability to play there in college. In the NFL, he might have to come off of that and play on the interior offensive line. The latest from Chiefs OL coach Andy Heck was that they were mostly working Kinnard at the guard position.
Soon-to-be free agents
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Orlando Brown Jr.
With no franchise tag, there is really no reason for Brown Jr. to negotiate with the Chiefs on a long-term contract extension before the legal tampering period. He’s going to have a chance to test the market and see if there is a team out there that wants to pay him what he believes he’s worth. If not, it’s possible talks could resume with Kansas City. Right now, things appear trending toward a split.
If the Chiefs come off of Brown Jr., it’s possible they focus on locking in Wylie to provide some clarity on the other side of the offensive line. Here’s what I wrote about Wylie’s free agent outlook last week.
Prince Tega Wanogho (Exclusive Rights Free Agent)
I expect the Chiefs to tender a contract offer to Wanogho just given their lack of depth at the position. He hasn’t played much beyond special teams, but he’s been in the system, which is a valuable trait with some new faces expected.