After placing the franchise tag on left tackle Orlando Brown in March, the Chiefs could not come to a long-term agreement with him by last week’s deadline.
Brown also hasn’t signed his franchise tender, so he technically won’t be finished if he declines to report to training camp.
With rookies and quarterbacks already in camp, head coach Andy Reid said on Friday that even he’s not sure if Brown will show up.
“You know, I don’t know that. So I don’t know whether he’s going to be here or not,” Reid said in his press conference. “If he’s here, great. And if he’s not, we move on. That’s how we’ve done it in the past. This isn’t the first time I’ve been through something like this. So my thing is, we just go. And whoever the next guy is that’s going to step in there — we know [left guard] Joe Thuney can do it in a heartbeat. So if we need to go that direction, we can go that direction. We’ve got some new faces in there that can also do it.”
Though Reid mentioned Thuney by name, he later said that the team isn’t at the point where it needs to figure out Brown’s replacement.
When asked if he was surprised a deal did not get done with Brown, Reid somewhat shrugged it off by saying, “things happen.”
“That’s the name of this game, where we are today,” Reid said. “It’s probably been that way for a number of years — go back to Babe Ruth moving to the Yankees from the Red Sox. [You have] a great player, this type of thing in professional sports goes on. And you work through it. You work through it as a player, you work through it as a team, and move forward.”
Should Brown elect to stay away from camp, Reid said it would be hard for the left tackle to make that time up.
“I mean, I would tell you, when you miss, you miss,” Reid said. “That’s just logical. But to say he doesn’t have a foundation, I mean, he has a foundation of the plays that we run and the things we do. But he missed all of OTAs and all that, so the new stuff that we’ve put in, that’s where he’ll have to catch up.”
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes said in his Friday press conference that he’s kept up with Brown over the course of the offseason, praising the left tackle’s football IQ. But the signal-caller also didn’t know if he’ll have his usual blindside protector when training camp begins.
The Chiefs acquired Brown from the Ravens in April 2021. He started 16 games for Kansas City last season and was selected to his third consecutive Pro Bowl.