One big question surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs and their trade for Orlando Brown Jr. was about how they’d handle his contract situation.
Brown is entering the final year of his rookie deal, so it’d make sense that an extension agreement might be requisite in any trade. According to a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Chiefs have different plans in mind.
Fowler says that the Chiefs are prepared to let Brown play out the final year of his rookie contract. When the 2022 free agency period comes around, the team is prepared to use the franchise tag on Brown according to Fowler. That is, of course, if they are unable to agree to a long-term extension before the franchise tag deadline.
Kansas City is prepared to franchise tag Orlando Brown, knowing he’ll likely play out the final year of his rookie deal, per source. No way they give up this much capital for a one-and-done. Tag allows time for negotiation.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 23, 2021
Obviously, the Chiefs gave up a lot of draft capital to acquire Brown in trade, so only having him around for one year would be a failure. The franchise tag is a tool that buys the team time to come to an agreement on a long-term deal.
The franchise tag number for offensive linemen in 2022 is projected to be $16.5 million according to Over The Cap. They also project Kansas City to have $26.7 million in cap space for that season. In 2023, the salary cap is expected to balloon significantly with the new TV deals kicking in. That should allow the Chiefs to manage a long-term contract extension for Brown Jr., if they so desire it at that time.