No one is exactly sure when Orlando Brown Jr. will be arriving at training camp for the Kansas City Chiefs—if at all, in fact, while things are happening in St. Joseph—but according to general manager Brett Veach, there’s no ill will when it comes to seeing him again and will “welcome him with open arms.”
While the rest of Brown’s teammates are working out every day at Missouri Western State preparing for the coming season, Brown’s absence is a regular talking point with reporters. When asked about the team’s absent left tackle on Saturday, however, Veach seemed to dismiss any notion of bad blood between the team and its lone holdout.
General manager Brett Veach says the Kansas City Chiefs will welcome back Orlando Brown Jr. with “open arms” when he’s ready to report.b
Brown and the Chiefs were unable to come to an agreement on a new long-term contract extension by mid-July. Brown’s reps have made it clear that they wanted to reset the market with a new contract for a young offensive tackle who has made three consecutive Pro Bowls. The Chiefs responded with a long-term commitment with less guaranteed money than what Brown would likely want, but there’s a good case to be made that Brown should not make elite money if he’s not an elite player.
From the moment it was clear the Chiefs and Brown would not strike a deal, rumors persisted that Brown would hold out of training camp and potentially into the regular season. Brown doesn’t have any real leverage at all given that he’d lose more than $1 million per game in order to hold out, and even then, he’d have to return for the majority of the season to make this an accrued season on his record (and thus to be that much closer to free agency again).
As for Veach’s comments, it’s clear the Chiefs are wanting to avoid any ounce of drama by laying their appreciation of Brown on thick. That’s understandable since there’s no monetary commitment attached to such praise. It also paints the organization in a positive light while Brown remains silent and away from the task at hand.
"“All I know is that we’re excited and anxious to get him back,” said Veach to Chiefs reporters. “And when he is ready to come back, we’re going to welcome him with open arms. I’m sure that Coach (Andy Reid) and I will get a chance to have a good conversation with him, and we’ll certainly let him know how much we love him, appreciate him.”"
The Chiefs traded for Orlando Brown Jr. last offseason and he settled into the role as the team’s left tackle from day one. His play improved throughout the season, and given other options, it makes sense why the Chiefs want to keep the peace. Now it’s just a matter of time until Brown decides to show up.