Source: Chiefs won’t use franchise tag on Brown

The Kansas City Chiefs will not be using their franchise tag on left tackle Orlando Brown, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, an unexpected move that opens the door for Brown to become a free agent.

Brown and the Chiefs couldn’t agree on a long-term contract last offseason, so he played this past season under the franchise tag, earning about $16.6 million. The two sides have until March 13 to work out contract terms before Brown can begin negotiating with other teams.

Brown, who turns 27 in May, was acquired by Kansas City in a 2021 trade with the Baltimore Ravens. He was the starting left tackle for every game except one in his two seasons with the Chiefs. A Pro Bowl selection in both seasons, Brown used his massive 6-foot-8, 340-pound frame to post a pass block win rate of 91.8% when blocking for Patrick Mahomes, which ranked 18th among all offensive tackles.

Brown played three seasons for the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he was mostly a right tackle. He asked to be traded from Baltimore so he could play left tackle in part because he wanted to fulfill a promise made to his late father, Orlando Sr., a former NFL offensive tackle.

He has appeared in 81 games (75 starts) in his five NFL seasons and has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of the past four seasons.

Teams have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to use their franchise tag.

ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.

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