Is it Time for the Bears to Target Orlando Brown Jr.?

Free agent offensive lineman
Free agent offensive lineman

Nothing is officially-official until Wednesday, but the number of offensive linemen flying off the board early in free agency concerns me as a Bears fan.

This is a team that has needs along the line, ample money to spend in free agency, and has yet to reel in a big fish. That bugs me. But maybe I need to practice what I preach in terms of patience. Because there are still players who are worth adding via free agency. The need is still there for the Bears. And so is the cap space.

So … how about going after Orlando Brown Jr. to check all three of those boxes at the same time?

The Chiefs just threw a bag at Jawaan Taylor to install him as their new left tackle. This means that Patrick Mahomes will have a new blindside protector. It also means the team is moving on from Brown. And with this shakeup, it has me wondering if the time is now to pivot to see if Brown is a fit for this Bears team moving forward.

For what it’s worth, CBS NFL insider Jonathan Jones connects some dots and hints at Chicago being a potential landing spot for Brown:

Maybe Jones’ tweet was done more in a speculative manner than it was as a hint. Nevertheless, it is worth discussing.

Brown, 26, has been one of football’s best offensive tackles. The guy has made four consecutive Pro Bowls, with the last two coming as a left tackle in Kansas City. Brown is also coming off a season in which Pro Football Focus graded him as a top-20 tackle. Considering there are 81 who qualify for the PFF leaderboard, Brown’s rating puts him in good standing. And it is also worth pointing out that the last time we saw Brown play, he gave up *ZERO* sacks against a record-breaking Eagles defensive line. That isn’t something we should take lightly in discussing Brown’s possible fit in Chicago.

I suppose if anyone should know what Brown can do for the Bears (Michael: Was that a UPS joke, Lu?), it is a front office led by GM Ryan Poles and Co-Director of Player Personnel Trey Koziol. Both of those execs were with the Chiefs and had eyes on Brown while in Kansas City. Both were with the Chiefs when the team swung a deal with the Ravens to bring Brown in. In other words, if the Bears pass on Brown, then maybe there is a good reason for it. But then again, I’m not sure this team should be passing on quality offensive linemen with a good track record when they have needs to fill.

Don’t get me wrong. I know there are other avenues to take in acquiring offensive line help. And I realize they won’t fill all those needs this offseason. They definitely won’t fill ’em all today. But defaulting to “just figure it out in the draft” feels like a potential misstep. After all, the Bears should be positioning themselves to take the best player available. That’s how you build through the draft — right? And isn’t that what we, as a collective, want? In any case, we’ll continue monitoring free agency rumors and share them when they are relevant to our conversations about team building in Chicago.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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