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ESPN praises Bengals’ signing of Orlando Brown Jr. as one of the top free agency moves

Orlando Brown Jr. is set to play a huge role for Cincinnati in 2023.

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

To the shock of many, the Cincinnati Bengals made arguably the biggest splash of this year’s NFL free agency, signing Orlando Brown Jr. to a four-year, $64 million deal.

Brown will be the team’s starting left tackle, shifting Jonah Williams to right tackle which inevitably led to him requesting a trade. The former Kansas City Chiefs starter is one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL and is primed to be a force in front of franchise quarterback Joe Burrow.

For that, Brown was ranked the second-best free agency signing of 2023 by ESPN’s Seth Walder.

“When you look at the contract numbers. Keep in mind that this same offseason Jawaan Taylor received $80 million over four years and Mike McGlinchey received $87.5 million over five years. Brown is the best tackle of the three and the only one who has played left tackle in the NFL. And on a per-year basis, he is being paid the least. An average of $16 million per year for a good 26-year-old left tackle is plenty palatable,” Walder wrote.

The Bengals struggled with offensive line depth at the end of last season, having several players go down during a crucial part of their postseason run. Cincinnati will look to ensure that doesn’t bite them again this upcoming season.

Let’s just say Brown has impressive numbers as well.

“Brown’s 92% pass block win rate at tackle ranked 18th out of 64 tackles — McGlinchey was 32nd and Taylor was 37th — but he also did it with double-team help just 27% of the time, the fourth-lowest rate,” Walder wrote.

The 6-foot-8 26-year-old was a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He played for Baltimore for three seasons before becoming a Chief for the last two, having been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his last four years.

Orlando Brown Jr. is the real deal, and at this price, the Bengals seem to have themselves a steal.