Reports: Chiefs Won’t Tag OT Orlando Brown Jr., Could Hit Open Market

A Super Bowl winning left tackle could be one of the top names in free agency next week. In a surprising move, the Kansas City Chiefs reportedly won’t franchise tag OT Orlando Brown Jr., meaning he’s slated to hit free agency March 15th unless the team can work out a long-term deal in the next week.

The legal tampering begins Monday, March 13th, meaning his camp can begin talking with other teams then. He’ll officially become a free agent two days later on the 15th. If that happens, he’ll become one of the top names available and the best offensive lineman in the free agency pool. He’ll also be the biggest, a mountain of a man at 6’8, 350 pounds, the son of NFL offensive tackle Orlando Brown Sr.

A third round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, Brown overcame a historically bad Combine workout to become a good NFL offensive tackle. When he wanted to get paid like a left tackle, the Ravens traded him to the Chiefs and he’s started every game for them the last two years protecting Patrick Mahomes’ blindside.

On paper, Pittsburgh could look for a big swing at tackle, meeting with the top names in this year’s draft over the weekend at the 2023 NFL Combine. But signing Brown would be incredibly expensive. Pittsburgh may be able to make it work under the cap but it would be a massive investment into one player. Brown had his ups and downs in Kansas City, though he had a great Super Bowl performance to hold an Eagles’ fierce pass rush in check (a slick field certainly helped, too).

One of the twelve takeaways we had in our post-Combine wrap-up article was the sense the Steelers aren’t urgently looking to upgrade Dan Moore Jr. or Chukwuma Okorafor. That’s something Jonathan Heitritter and Joe Clark noted in their analysis. If anything, interior offensive line could grab more of the Steelers’ focus, potentially upgrading at LG over Kevin Dotson, meaning the Steelers’ interest in Brown likely won’t be there.

But when notable offensive linemen emerge, they’re worth writing about. Veteran Taylor Lewan has expressed a desire to play in Pittsburgh while San Francisco 49ers’ right tackle Mike McGlinchey is also expected to hit the open market. Still, it seems more likely the team adds a versatile, veteran backup type of tackle instead of taking a big swing next week.

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