Former Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. left in free agency, joining the Cincinnati Bengals in their effort to protect Joe Burrow.
NFL executives know better than to criticize Brett Veach and the Kansas City Chiefs. If KC lets a player walk, there’s usually a reason.
Orlando Brown Jr. is a fine tackle, but he’s not worth the money Cincinnati threw his way. Brown signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Bengals earlier this offseason. The expectation is that he’ll be a blue chip left tackle for Cincinnati.
Some NFL executives aren’t sold.
“I give them credit for not (franchise) tagging Orlando Brown and not spending dollars on him,” an exec said, “because he was probably the weakest link on their line last year. It seems like they figured out as long as you protect Mahomes, nothing else matters. It is probably true.”
If that isn’t an indictment of Brown Jr.’s play, I don’t know what is.
NFL execs throw cold water on Bengals signing former Chiefs OL Orlando Brown
Still, it’s easy to understand why the Bengals would sign Brown Jr. Burrow has been one of the most-hit quarterbacks in football since being drafted by Cincinnati, and he is their greatest asset. In similar fashion to Mahomes and KC, if the Bengals protect Joe Burrow, they will always be in contention.
While most executives agree that Brown Jr. is overrated, he still brings some value if Cincinnati plays him in the right position, which may be right tackle instead of left tackle.
“They are more gap-duo in their running game now after being more of a wide zone team, so he fits them more,” another exec said, “It doesn’t really bother Burrow when the tackle loses the edge. He can avoid that. It’s when the tackle gets collapsed back into him that there is no way to escape. Orlando Brown can cover his guy up.”
Brown has a chance to prove his doubters wrong this season.