Orlando Brown Jr., who many believed to be the best offensive tackle to hit NFL free agency this offseason, has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, which is exciting in its own right, but now it appears the contract is incredibly team friendly.
Pro Football Focus projected Brown’s contract would be for five years with an average salary of $21 million a year, totaling $105 million with $70 million of that fully guaranteed.
The Bengals signed him to a four-year deal worth $64.092 million. The contract is front-loaded and includes a $31 million signing bonus, which is the largest ever for an offensive lineman in the NFL.
When it comes to the guaranteed cash, only 67.87% of it fully guaranteed (roughly $43 million). This means the best offensive tackle in free agency will be the 17th highest-paid tackle in the league.
This could go a long way to helping the Bengals extend superstar quarterback Joe Burrow, then possibly wide receiver Tee Higgins and linebacker Logan Wilson. Brown’s contract will pay out $42.3 million by Year 2, which is when the guaranteed money for Burrow and others could start to ramp up.
Brown finished with a 76.8 pass-blocking grade and a 68.8 run-blocking grade from PFF in 2022. He allowed only four sacks this past season. Those scores are much higher compared to Jonah Williams and La’el Collins (62.8 pass/51.0 run and 44.2 pass/73.5 run respectively). With Collins’ status unclear due to his ACL tear late in the season, this will help solidify the Bengals’ offensive line for 2023 and beyond.
It’s possible that Jones preferred the idea of the large signing bonus and front-loaded contract over more pay from other teams, or maybe he just wanted to be a part of the first Bengals team to win a Super Bowl.
Either way, the contract is a big win for the Bengals while also making sure Brown gets a lot of money very soon.
The son of former NFL tackle Orlando Brown is a four-time Pro Bowler and was a part of the Kansas City Chiefs team that beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl in February. The Bengals now have three linemen with Super Bowl-winning experience in Brown, center Ted Karras (New England Patriots), and Alex Cappa (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
Always nice to have with a quarterback capable of hoisting the Lombardi more than once.