The Cincinnati Bengals have landed arguably the best offensive tackle on the open market, as former Kansas City Chief Orlando Brown is heading back to the NFC North.
Brown’s deal is expected to be worth $64.092 million with about two-thirds of that guaranteed.
NFL Network reports he’ll receive $42.3 million through his second year and $49.9 million through three seasons.
Brown’s career began with the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, and he’s developed into one of the best tackles in the game. He made it a point to want to play left tackle as he went into free agency, and that’s exactly where the Bengals expect him to play next season to protect quarterback Joe Burrow’s blindside.
Brown spoke to NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo after the news broke, where he mentioned wanting to continue his father’s legacy. His father, Orlando Brown Sr., played nine NFL seasons as an offensive tackle.
“I’m super thankful for the opportunity to carry on my father’s legacy and be a left tackle,” Brown said. “It was important to be able to play that position and play for a winning team and a winning quarterback. Who Dey!”
Cincinnati continues to bolster their offensive line, knowing that Burrow has been taking a lot of hits his first three seasons in the league.
Two years ago, he was the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL, going down 51 times. Last season, while the number dropped to 41, that was still the sixth-most in the league.
One of the main reasons for that is Burrow is a pure pocket passer, constantly waiting for that window to open up and allow his receivers to gain separation. Sometimes, that patience results in sacks.
The Bengals’ offensive success has been documented, however, since Burrow’s arrival in Cincy, so the organization continues to build around it.
Patrick Mahomes is a different quarterback than Burrow, as he’s constantly using his feet to escape trouble around the pocket. But Brown has been a rock for him since he came over to Kansas City in 2021. He is a four-time Pro Bowler, two of which came with the Chiefs and for good reason: he stays healthy and you don’t hear his name called much during games.
Brown also keeps the penalties to a minimum, being called for six all last season. That’s a career-high, too, after totaling just 15 over his previous four seasons.
Also, we have to mention the budding rivalry between the Chiefs and Bengals, which Brown knows all about. The Mahomes-Burrow matchups have been lopsided in favor of Cincy prior to the AFC Championship Game win for the Chiefs to advance to the Super Bowl.
These two teams could meet again in that same scenario, but Mahomes won’t have his trusted left tackle on his blindside.