As the Kansas City Chiefs continue their offseason, Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp are in the books. Up next comes training camp in St. Joseph, MO, but not before more speculation about the contract extension talks between the team and left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.
Brown, who recently hired an agent to assist him with these proceedings, is in line for a hefty payday in the very near future. He's making over $16.6 million on the franchise tag for this year, however, that doesn't come with any long-term stability. Brown wants to be a Chief long-term, and the franchise is motivated to get a deal done with him before the league's July 15 deadline. Head coach Andy Reid spoke at the Chiefs' end-of-minicamp presser on Thursday, and he gave a vote of confidence to general manager Brett Veach eventually finish the job.
"Yeah, so I’m not doing a whole lot of conversing with him [Brown], but Brett and his crew are," Reid said. "You know, these don’t ever happen overnight, that’s not how it works. But they’ll work through it and I know both sides with handle it the right way and come to a spot that’s good for both Orlando and the team.”
Reid didn't stop there. He also praised Brown for the work he did at left tackle last season, citing him as a player with "plenty of room to grow" who's "wired the right way" and should be "on the rise." Additionally, he noted that Brown is doing what he needs to do independently in order to be ready for training camp. The Chiefs' leader is clearly very fond of Brown, even amid the ongoing negotiations between him and the team.
Brown didn't participate in on-field work during Kansas City's mandatory minicamp, which was expected given the nature of the situation. The Chiefs are already invested in him by way of the aforementioned franchise tag and a 2021 pre-draft trade, so there is some leverage on the 26-year-old's side. With that said, the leverage shouldn't be carried with a negative connotation. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was also asked about Brown, and he spoke just as glowingly as Reid about both sides ironing out a contract extension at some point.
“Yeah, I’m very confident just because I know Orlando," Mahomes said. "I was with him yesterday actually, so I hang out with him a lot. He loves football. He loves the Kansas City Chiefs. He loves being here in this organization. So now, the stuff that’s always stuff, the business side of this. All of us want to provide for our families in the long term, the next generation. I know he’s getting that handled. As far as loving the Chiefs and loving football, there’s not another person in this building that loves it as much as he does.”
Brown may not have been perfect for the Chiefs in year one, but he improved over the course of the season and Mahomes grew more and more comfortable with him over time. With his 30s being years away, it makes sense for the team to lock him up on a long-term deal if it believes that he's the man capable of protecting Mahomes's blind side moving forward. That appears to be the case, but for now, the business element that Mahomes and Reid alluded to is running its course. On the other side of it — according to two of the most prominent figures in the Chiefs organization — a pact should be reached. The Chiefs aren't worried in the slightest.