The Cincinnati Bengals have made a significant move during the new league year by signing former Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to a four-year contract worth $64.09 million.
The deal includes a substantial signing bonus of over $31 million, which is the largest ever given to an offensive lineman. As per NFL Media, the contract is front-loaded.
“I’m super thankful for the opportunity to carry on my father’s legacy and be a left tackle,” Brown told NFL Media in a statement. “It was important to be able to play that position and play for a winning team and a winning quarterback. Who Dey!” Orlando Brown Jr. had expressed his desire to play as a left tackle, and the Bengals have agreed to sign him for that position.
The Chiefs had the option to franchise tag him for a second consecutive year, but instead, they signed Jawaan Taylor, a former right tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who could potentially transition to left tackle, according to multiple reports.
This move indicated that Brown would be leaving the Chiefs, and he has now joined another AFC contender, the Bengals.
“Growing up in my household, if you were going to play O-line, my dad didn’t want you being on the right side,” Brown told The Baltimore Sun in 2020.
“It was one of those deals where he felt as though the right tackle — and especially at the time when he played — he felt the right tackle was not considered the best tackle on the offensive line and in the offensive line room. And his mentality and approach was, ‘I want you to be better than me.’ So from Day 1, when I started playing offensive line, it was always him working me on the left side.”
Although Orlando Brown Jr.’s new average annual value (AAV) of $16.02 million places him outside of the top 10 highest-paid left tackles, it is worth noting that NFL Media reports that 67.87% of his $64.092 million contract is fully guaranteed, which is a significant amount. Brown, who is the son of the late Baltimore Ravens left tackle Orlando Brown, was selected by his father’s team in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft from Oklahoma. He was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of the 2021 season to play full-time on the left side, where he earned Pro Bowl honors twice in two years and also won a Super Bowl ring in February.