OK, Now You Can Stop Thinking About the Bears Signing Orlando Brown Jr.
There has been a cloud of mystery surrounding Orlando Brown Jr.’s free agency.
First, he was going to get the Franchise Tag from the Chiefs. But before the tag deadline came, reports surfaced that Kansas City wasn’t tagging Brown. This led Brown to hit free agency, where he lingered for a few days. You wouldn’t expect a top offensive tackle who has made each of the last four Pro Bowls to have to wait out offers. And yet, there had been whispers about teams wanting Brown to move to right tackle. If you’ll recall, that was a position he was at when he made his first two Pro Bowls. So I understand why teams were wanting to coax Brown back to that old spot.
In the end, Brown get to stay at left tackle. And he’ll get paid handsomely to do it. All while protecting Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow:
I’m at a point where I’m not even sure what to say in response to this news. Although, that’s my job … so I’m going to wing it. And here’s where I land: If Brown is good enough to protect Burrow, why should I think he wasn’t good enough to protect Justin Fields? Maybe Brown wasn’t a perfect fit. Perhaps the Bears want a different type of blocker. It is possible that this front office wants to see it through with Braxton Jones.
Whatever the case is, I hope they have contingency plans at right tackle after watching a handful of the top free-agent linemen sign elsewhere. This isn’t to say that free agency was going to provide solutions to all the Bears’ issues. However, it feels as if there is a decent chance we’ll look back at some of these signings as missed opportunities. I hope that’s not the case.
There is still time to remedy these concerns. However, the opportunities (and player pool) are shrinking. The NFL Draft is 43 days away. That might be the next time the Bears can add a high-upside offensive line option to their team. And while I’m looking forward to the draft, I was hoping not to go into that weekend knowing this team is essentially in a situation where it has to draft a starting-caliber lineman.