The Kansas City Chiefs prioritized their offensive line last offseason, culminating with the trade for Orlando Brown. Kansas City guaranteed Brown a move to left tackle once the trade was completed, and he rewarded the franchise by earning a Pro Bowl invite in his first season with the team.
Set to become a free agent, the Chiefs aren’t planning on letting their franchise left tackle walk. General manager Brett Veach has a plan to make sure Brown remains with the Chiefs for a long time, starting by using the franchise tag on him.
“First off, I’m sure that’s likely,” Veach said on whether the Chiefs will place the franchise tag on Brown, during the NFL Scouting Combine Tuesday. “We’re gonna work hard to get a deal done with him.”
The Chiefs also are looking to get a deal done with Tyrann Mathieu, who is also set to hit the free agent market.
“After the Cincinnati game, we had a chance to talk,” Veach said. “We certainly love Tyrann and Tyrann loves being here. We’ll start that process this week and hopefully everything ends in a positive direction.”
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Brown allowed just four sacks and 37 pressures in his first season, allowing zero sacks and just seven pressures over his last five regular season games. He earned a Pro Bowl spot in 2021 and is the only tackle in the NFL to earn a Pro Bowl spot in each of the last three seasons. The Chiefs allowed the ninth-most pressures in the NFL (234), but the third-fewest sacks (28). Patrick Mahomes was sacked just 4.0% of the time, which was also the the third fewest in the league. Mahomes had 2.83 seconds to throw (ninth-best in NFL) and the Chiefs offensive line allowed 2.59 seconds in allotted time to pressure (fourth-best in NFL).
Mathieu finished with 76 tackles, three interceptions, and three passes defensed last season in earning another Pro Bowl selection. He allowed just a 65.9 passer rating in coverage when targeted as the primary defender, the second-highest for him since 2017. He’s still a vital part of the Chiefs secondary and a leader on the unit.
If Brown gets the franchise tag, he’ll make $16,662,000 in 2022 — and the Chiefs will have until July to get a long-term deal done. The more time the Chiefs have the work the financial details, the better.