Orlando Brown free agency 2022: Chiefs apply franchise tag to three-time Pro Bowl tackle

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The Kansas City Chiefs are keeping Patrick Mahomes’ blind side protected again for the 2022 season. The team on Monday placed the franchise tag on left tackle Orlando Brown, assuring the three-time Pro Bowler will avoid free agency. 

There has long been hope by the Chiefs that a long-term deal could be worked out with Brown that would allow them to avoid pulling the trigger on a tag that will carve out a fully guaranteed $16.7 million from their salary cap, but it was not to be. The two sides will still have time to hash out a multiyear contract even with the tag applied, however, with the deadline to do so being in mid-July — at which point Brown would be forced to play under the tag for the 2022 season if a new contract is not in place.

And until/unless a deal is worked out, the $16.7 million hit will remain on the Chiefs salary cap, impacting what they will or will not be able to do in free agency.

Brown made his way to the NFL by way of the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, a former third-round pick who quickly made a name for himself. Having played mostly at offensive guard, Brown made it clear he wanted to play tackle, but that wasn’t in the Ravens plans, so they struck a trade deal with the Chiefs to send Brown to Kansas City in 2021. He’d hit the ground running for head coach Andy Reid in helping to protect former league MVP Patrick Mahomes, earning another Pro Bowl nod in the process.

Having traded multiple picks to acquire him and having now seen how dominant he truly is, the Chiefs aren’t going to allow Brown a chance to field offers from other teams while they try to get him to accept theirs.

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