KC Chiefs should be able to bridge financial gap with Orlando Brown Jr.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown (57) Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown (57) Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

On Tuesday, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network spoke about the ongoing contract negotiations between Orlando Brown Jr. and the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I spoke to Jammal Brown, the former NFL offensive tackle who is serving as a mentor for Orlando [Brown Jr.], and he said that the sides are nowhere close on a deal and that they are not just going to do a deal to do a deal,” Garafolo reported. He would go on to explain that his source told him that Orlando Brown wanted top left tackle money, while the Chiefs were offering top right tackle money.

Since this news broke, Kansas City fans have been, understandably, a little shaken. The Chiefs finally constructed a respectable offensive line in 2021, and it would be frustrating to lose the left-side anchor of that line less than a year later.

In a sports media landscape that feeds off overreactions, here is why you should remain optimistic about Orlando Brown Jr’s contract situation.

However, it appears that Mike Garafolo buried the lede in his reporting. He begins by reporting that the Chiefs and Brown are nowhere near a deal, then follows that up by saying that Brown wants top left tackle money while the Chiefs are willing to pay top right tackle money. The highest-paid left tackle in the NFL is San Fransisco’s Trent Williams, who is making about $23 million dollars a year. The highest-paid right tackle in the league is Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson at about 18 million dollars a year.

With a gap of only 5 million dollars per year between the two sides, it would seem to be a stretch to report the two sides as being “nowhere near a deal.”

There is also reason to believe that the Chiefs and Brown are even closer than Garafolo reports, with Pete Sweeney reporting via Twitter that the Chiefs are willing to pay top left tackle money, but just not willing to reset the market with their deal. According to FanSided’s NFL Reporter Matt Verderame on Twitter, Brown reportedly wants $25 million dollars a year. Even if this seems like a large divide, it is likely closer to a difference of $1.5-2 million dollars a year, a far cry from the reported$ 5 million dollars a year gap.

The two sides have until Friday to finish the negotiations or for Brown to sign the franchise tag that the team has designated for him. This means there are still several days for the financial gap to be bridged before it deals financial damage to the team. The two sides will also still have another week to negotiate after that before holding out from training camp becomes a possibility, and almost two months before regular-season snaps come into question. There is more than sufficient time, energy, and desire from both sides to make this deal happen before it actually becomes catastrophic.

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