As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare for next week’s NFL Draft, they are still aware of the pending contract situations regarding their current roster.
Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. is currently under the franchise tag for the 2021 season, but the team hopes to extend his stay in Kansas City long term. The acquisition of Brown Jr. to help turnaround the Chiefs’ offensive line took place a year ago before the 2021 draft. Since being traded from the Baltimore Ravens, Brown Jr. has lived up to expectations and quickly become a vital part of the line protecting Patrick Mahomes.
Chiefs GM Brett Veach spoke with reporters on Friday about patience regarding contract negotiations with Brown. So far there hasn’t been much movement on that front because he remains without an agent.
“We did have dialogue with him and during the course of that dialogue he’s taken a step back and he’s re-doing the agent process,” Veach explained. “Where we are right now, in addition to the Tyreek Hill trade with our cap and having flexibility now, it allows us to take a step back and get through this draft. We certainly anticipate that once the draft is over there will be a point where there is a finality to him going out there and finding an agent. We’ll have a ton of time to talk. You guys know how the Chris Jones deal went. It was right there towards the end, and that’s typically how a lot of these things go, where there is no rush on either side. On one end, the player likes to take their time to really assess the current and future markets. On the flip side, the team is going through a draft process, and they have a ton on their plate trying to get through meetings and the board. Then usually after everyone takes a deep breath, the draft ends and there is that chunk of time between the final mandatory OTAs, there is a lot of downtime for that dialogue.”
The Chiefs still have quite a bit of time to get a deal done with Brown, as the deadline to extend franchise-tagged players isn’t until mid-July. The odd aspect of Brown Jr.’s situation is that he still doesn’t have an agent to represent him in the negotiations. Veach didn’t try to assume anything about that particular situation when asked about it at the podium on Friday.
“I don’t and I’d hate to misspeak because it’s important for him, and that’s a big decision, and I don’t want to influence that either way,” Veach said. “He’s a really smart guy, he’ll make a great decision, and whoever he decides to hire or if he wants to represent himself, we’ll be more than happy to sit down and talk long-term extension.”
The Chiefs were able to use Brown Jr. as the centerpiece for the revamped offensive line in 2021 and would like to see the same consistency beyond the 2022 season. Veach’s focus will be on the 2022 NFL draft for now, but that doesn’t mean he’s not thinking about getting this deal done. Look for the two sides to sit down and talk extension once organized team activities (OTAs) come around.