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Why franchise-tagged OT Orlando Brown Jr. has no leverage with the Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs offensive sort out and franchise participant Orlando Brown Jr. isn’t attending coaching camp and has refused to signal his franchise tag. Yet, at the least for the 2022 season, the solely practical end result entails Brown ultimately reporting to Kansas City.

After the Chiefs despatched a draft decide bundle to accumulate Brown from the Baltimore Ravens final yr, the 26-year-old offensive lineman could consider he has leverage — however he doesn’t. The Chiefs maintain all the playing cards.

Orlando Brown Jr. is preventing a dropping battle with the Chiefs

In April 2021, Kansas City landed Brown, a 2021 second-round decide, and a 2022 sixth-round decide from Baltimore in change for a primary, third, and fourth-round decide in 2021 and a fifth-rounder in 2022. The Chiefs reportedly felt they’d sacrificed the equivalent of the 45th overall selection to accumulate Brown.

That would point out that normal supervisor Brett Veach and Kansas City’s entrance workplace use the traditional Jimmy Johnson-devised NFL trade value chart. Most groups round the league no longer use that chart as a result of it drastically overvalues early picks and locations much less emphasis on mid-round alternatives.

As certainly one of the most analytically superior groups in the NFL, the Ravens probably consider trades with a mannequin nearer to Chase Stuart of Football Perspective’s chart or the Fitzgerald-Spielberger table. Those charts pegged Baltimore’s return as someplace between the twentieth and twenty fifth decide in the draft.

If the Chiefs felt that they’d given up the equal of a mid-to-late first-round choice for Brown, they may have felt extra stress to increase him at any price. Other NFL gamers have been in a position to make use of comparable leverage to extract huge paydays after being shipped to new groups. But as a result of KC believes it gave up draft selections that had been analogous solely to a mid-second-rounder, they probably didn’t really feel coerced into giving Brown no matter he needed.

Brown needed a commerce out of Baltimore as a result of he needed to play left sort out, and the Ravens had already made Ronnie Stanley certainly one of the highest-paid linemen in the NFL. Brown acquired the alternative with the Chiefs, and whereas he was a strong blindside protector for Patrick Mahomes, he wasn’t elite. Pro Football Network lately ranked Brown as the Nineteenth-best OT in the league.

Brown isn’t in the Trent Williams/David Bakhtiari class, however he desires to be paid like he’s. With no extension in sight, the Chiefs used the franchise tag on Brown in March, locking him right into a one-year, totally assured 2022 wage of $16.662 million.

So, the Ravens moved on from Brown fairly than pay him top-of-the-market cash. The Chiefs, as a substitute of instantly extending him, let Brown play out his contract yr earlier than deploying the franchise tag rather than a long-term deal.

And what about the remainder of the league? Kansas City used the non-exclusive franchise tender on Brown, so any rival workforce might have signed him to a suggestion sheet in the event that they had been keen to sacrifice two first-round picks. That would have been an exorbitant price, however different gamers — Jalen Ramsey, Laremy Tunsil, Jamal Adams — had been all traded for 2 first-rounders in current seasons. That’s the price ticket for elite expertise, nevertheless it’s clear the remainder of the NFL doesn’t maintain Brown in that regard, both.

Kansas City’s extension provide

After the Chiefs assigned Brown the franchise tag, they’d till July 15 to hammer out a brand new pact with the former Oklahoma Sooner. Kansas City reportedly offered Brown a six-year, $139 million extension that will have made him the NFL’s highest-paid offensive sort out on an annual foundation ($23.16 million) and included a $30.25 million signing bonus. Sounds fairly affordable, proper?

Wrong. KC’s provide contained a bloated $40+ million last yr wage that was used solely to inflate the deal’s whole worth. Brown would have by no means seen that cash. He might have acquired $95 million over the first 5 years of the contract, however that $19 million AAV would have ranked him simply fifth amongst offensive tackles.

It wasn’t a sensible proposal from the Chiefs and bordered on dangerous religion. Kansas City knew Brown needed to be the NFL’s highest-paid OT, in order that they seemingly used that in opposition to him in negotiations. This deal will make you the highest-paid at your place — simply don’t have a look at the particulars! 

What are Brown’s choices?

Now that the July 15 franchise tag extension deadline has handed, Brown’s choices are extraordinarily restricted. The Chiefs might give in and commerce him, however any workforce that acquired Brown would simply step into Kansas City’s footwear. While he can’t signal a brand new multi-year deal, Brown might push the Chiefs to extend his wage in 2022 or give him a no-tag clause for 2023 — however KC has no incentive to conform to both of these stipulations.

Brown hasn’t signed his franchise tender, and since he’s not technically underneath contract, he’s not topic to any fines. He’s not prone to dropping any cash whereas sitting out of coaching camp. But as sources predicted to PFN’s Aaron Wilson, Brown’s holdout might final into the preseason and all the manner till Week 1.

Brown can miss all the time he desires as much as Week 1, but when he continues to sit down out as soon as the common season begins, he’ll start hurting his pockets. As a former third-round decide, Brown has solely earned about $6.8 million in his profession. That’s definitely life-changing cash, nevertheless it’s not the type of generational wealth he’s on the lookout for, and Brown doesn’t have tens of tens of millions sitting in the financial institution.

For each regular-season week that Brown avoids, he would sacrifice roughly $925K (1/18th of his $16.662 million wage). At that tempo, he’d surrender the equal of his profession earnings earlier than Kansas City even reaches their Week 8 bye. It’s not a sound monetary resolution, and it’s onerous to think about Brown taking this path.

Brown’s most suitable choice is to play out the 2022 marketing campaign and hope the Chiefs don’t tag him once more subsequent offseason — however the workforce could do exactly that. Kansas City might retain him from 2022-23 for a two-year price of roughly $37 million, and so they could view that as a preferable avenue to a long-term deal.

Brown’s best-case state of affairs would possibly comply with the trajectories of Jaguars OT Cam Robinson and Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin, every of whom was franchised for a second consecutive yr in 2022 earlier than agreeing to an extension.

How can the Chiefs exchange Brown (if it involves that)?

If Brown decides to throw warning to the wind and maintain out into the common season, the Chiefs might want to discover a new left sort out. Left guard Joe Thuney has the capacity to shift over one spot, however Andy Reid stated Wednesday that Kansas City plans to keep Thuney where he is for now.

Roderick Johnson has taken first-team reps at left sort out throughout coaching camp, however he’s performed simply 610 profession snaps and spent the whole 2021 season on the Dolphins observe squad. Meanwhile, fellow reserve Geron Christian has managed almost twice as many profession snaps as Johnson, and he was an efficient go blocker for the Texans in 2021.

If the Chiefs determine to look outdoors the group to interchange Brown, they’ll discover a surprisingly strong — at the least, for late July — free agent sort out market. Eric Fisher spent eight years in Kansas City and is aware of the employees and scheme, whereas Duane Brown can be nonetheless out there. Even 40-year-old Jason Peters, who began 15 video games for the Bears final season, stated he wants to play one more year.

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