One of the biggest moves of the NFL offseason when it’s all said and done will be former Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. signing with the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown received a four-year, $64.09 million deal, which includes a signing bonus north of $31 million.
It hurts the Chiefs not only to lose a player that has made four straight Pro Bowls, but to lose him to Kansas City’s primary postseason rival. Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce said losing Brown wounded him deeply for this reason.
“It hurts. It hurts my soul, man. Hurts my soul. It’s like watching your best friend just turn evil on you,” Kelce said on his “New Heights” podcast, via the Kansas City Star, (H/T Pro Football Talk).
“It’s tough man. Obviously, I mean, the past like two years we’ve struggled beating the Bengals,” Kelce said. “So there’s been a lot of like build up in emotion of like, I would say, not necessarily hate but just like dislike towards the Bengals because they keep beating us, and they keep talking about it every time they do. So it’s like, man, to see him go to the dark side man, it’s an awkward feeling. Obviously I hope that he has an absolute Hall of Fame career. You know what I mean? I wish nothing but the best for OB. He was an unbelievable leader. An unbelievable teammate on and off the field.”
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The Chiefs and Bengals have played four times over the past two seasons — including in each of the last two AFC Championship games. The Bengals are 3-1 in those four matchups, with the lone loss coming in this year’s AFC Championship game, paving the way for the Chiefs to return to the top of the NFL world.
The Chiefs signed former Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor to a four-year, $80 million deal earlier in the offseason, and initial reports indicated he was going to flip over to the left side, which meant Brown was likely gone. But Brown may have been extra upset with the Taylor signing. His team brought in a right tackle to replace its Pro Bowl left tackle. That probably upset the player who was raised by his NFL left tackle father to believe the other tackle was the inferior player.
In Brown, the Bengals and star quarterback Joe Burrow get a legitimate left tackle that’s motivated to prove the Chiefs wrong. Their next matchup will be fun to watch.