Fowler: Steelers Showed Interest In OT Orlando Brown Jr.

Offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. is headed to the AFC North and the Cincinnati Bengals. But another North team showed interest – the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler via Brown’s agent Michael Portner, the Steelers and the New York Jets were among the teams interested in Brown.

Ultimately, Brown inked a four-year deal with the Bengals that was friendly on the yearly average but came with plenty of upfront money, including a massive signing bonus of over $31 million. It’s hard to know exactly how interested Pittsburgh was or if it ever made an offer but based on how the Steelers structure contacts, they likely weren’t all that competitive with the Bengals’ type of deal.

Brown is regarded as one of the league’s top tackles and was considered the top free agent available before agreeing to a deal with the Bengals. Had Pittsburgh found a way to sign him, Brown would’ve replaced Dan Moore Jr. at left tackle and put him in a reserve/swing role. Though the Steelers didn’t get the deal done, new GM Omar Khan is showing aggressiveness in his first full offseason with the team.

Perhaps Pittsburgh was checking in under the belief Brown was facing a cooler-than-expected market or maybe the team has serious plans to find a new left tackle. With Brown off the board, the Steelers next best opportunity to do that will be through the draft. Pittsburgh holds the 17th pick in next month’s draft.

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