The Kansas City Chiefs still aren't sure if Orlando Brown is going to sign his franchise tender and show up to training camp. Brown and the Chiefs failed to reach a long-term deal prior to the franchise tag deadline on July 15, ensuring he'll play the year on the tag and become a free agent in 2023 (assuming the Chiefs don't place the tag on him to try to work out a long-term deal again).
In the aftermath of contract negotiations, reports surfaced the Chiefs were frustrated with Brown not reaching a long-term deal with them. The report stated a front office member of the Chiefs said Brown "isn't the same guy that we traded for" and "he was going to be a team player and work with them on a team-friendly type of deal."
Patrick Mahomes had his opportunity to address the report, denying any truth towards Brown not being a team player. Mahomes and Brown have a strong relationship and have only built on that since Brown arrived in Kansas City.
"I have no idea who said that. I mean he's a great team player. He's one of the smartest football players I think I've ever played with," Mahomes said Friday. "He has a high IQ, I remember even when he wasn't at OTAs he's asking me questions, he's watching the film, he's doing everything to make sure that when he steps here, he's ready to go.
"I think that comes with him cause his dad played in the league, he has been around the sport his whole life and you ask anyone on this team he's one of the best guys on this team, if not the best one."
Brown allowed just four sacks and 37 pressures in his first season with the Chiefs, allowing zero sacks and just seven pressures over his last five regular-season games. He earned a Pro Bowl spot in 2021 and is the only tackle in the NFL to earn a Pro Bowl spot in each of the last three seasons. Brown was a major catalyst toward the Chiefs' offensive line emerging into one of the best in the league, which is why getting a long-term deal done was paramount.
Obviously, that didn't happen and the Chiefs are preparing for the possibility Brown doesn't show up for the start of training camp -- and perhaps missing the start of the regular season.
"It's such a big deal that no player wants to be dealing with," Mahomes said. "I'm sure the coaches and the general managers and all of them don't want to be dealing with as well but it's something you want to take care of your future and take care of your family and generations to come and it's money that can take care of your grandkids and their kids, so you want to make sure that all gets handled.
"But at the same time you want to make sure you're ready to go when it does get handled. So obviously it didn't work out for him this offseason the way that he wanted to but whenever he gets here, I'm sure he'll be ready to go and he'll show what caliber player he is again and I'm sure that it will all handle itself at the end of the day."