Andy Reid’s uncertainty regarding Orlando Brown Jr. appears to have been justified.
Brown will not report to Chiefs camp when veterans arrive Tuesday, NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported Monday.
The offensive tackle was unable to strike a long-term deal with the Chiefs ahead of the deadline for franchise-tagged players, turning down Kansas City’s best offer. Since Brown has yet to sign his tag tender, a holdout was expected and will soon become official.
Brown’s decision to decline the long-term offer led to some frustration and disappointment within the Chiefs organization, NFL Network’s Jeffri Chadiha reported earlier in July. Reid was ambivalent about the matter when asked about Brown a few days ago, saying “if he’s here, great. And if he’s not, we move on.”
Reid’s Chiefs will indeed move into camp without the franchise’s starting left tackle, a key piece Kansas City intended to secure for multiple seasons prior to camp. Without such a deal in place, Brown enters 2022 on the franchise tag, which will pay him the average of the top five salaries at his position, but only for one season. There’s inherent risk associated with playing under the tag, however it seems Brown has accepted such a risk while betting on himself for the future.
Above all, Brown mans an important role on Kansas City’s rebuilt offensive line. Patrick Mahomes is well aware of Brown’s value to the team’s fortunes.
“Obviously, we wanted to get the deal done,” Mahomes said Friday. “I’m sure he wanted to get the deal done, everything like that. But at the end of the day, we’re gonna go out there and play football and I’m excited for him to be here and be a part of the team again.”
He won’t play for them from the start of camp. Because the Chiefs can tag Brown a second time, he might not get a long-term deal for a while. And there is a discrepancy in how he’s viewed among other players at the position, depending on who you ask.
Still, one thing cures all: winning. Brown will have to sign his tender before he can resume his role within Kansas City’s pursuit of success. Until then, Mahomes will be without his starting left tackle.
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