Ben babyESPN staff writer2 minute reading
The Cincinnati Bengals have shown they are serious about protecting quarterback Joe Burrow, signing four-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to a four-year, $64 million contract that includes a more than $31 million signing bonus, his agent, Michael Portner, confirmed to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
The Bengals paid a premium to land Brown, a former Kansas City Chiefs star who was one of the best offensive tackles available in free agency. Brown’s signing bonus is $10 million more than what Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and Lyell Collins received when they signed with the Bengals last season.
Other teams that have shown interest in Brown include the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets.
He immediately elevates an offensive line that has improved at times in pass blocking, but is still near the bottom of the league. The Bengals ranked 30th in pass block success rate, an ESPN metric powered by NFL Next Gen.
Brown would also become the most talented player on the roster, with back-to-back Pro Bowl selections from 2019-22. Wide receiver Ja’Mar Chase was previously the only player on Cincinnati’s roster with multiple Pro Bowl selections (two).
If Brown continues to play left tackle, former first-round pick Jonah Williams will have to find a new spot. Williams, who picked up his fifth-year option last season, has been the team’s primary starter on the left side of the offensive line since being drafted in 2019.
Brown and the Chiefs couldn’t agree on a long-term contract last season, so he spent the season playing their franchise, earning about $16.6 million.
Brown, who turned 27 in May, was acquired by the Chiefs 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. He was a Pro Bowl selection in both seasons, using his massive 6-foot-8, 340-pound frame to post a 91.8% pass block success rate.
He played three seasons for the Ravens, where 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 he made to his late father, Orlando, a former NFL offensive tackle.
Brown has appeared in 81 games (75 starts) over his five NFL seasons and has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons.
ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.