2 min read

Bengals Land Orlando Brown Jr. on Record Four-Year, $64M Deal

Orlando Brown Jr.

The Cincinnati Bengals took a mammoth step toward upgrading their offensive line Wednesday night, signing offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to a four-year, front-loaded contract.

The deal, first reported by NFL Media, will pay Brown more than $64 million, with a signing bonus of $31 million — a new record for an offensive lineman.

Upgrading the offensive line has been a mission for the Bengals since they drafted quarterback Joe Burrow first overall in 2020. Burrow tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in his rookie season, then took a league-high 51 sacks in 2021. Despite multiple additions along the offensive line, Burrow was still sacked 41 times last season.

The massive addition of Brown should go a long way toward reducing those numbers and providing some stability at tackle opposite Jonah Williams. Brown was the top tackle on the free agent market and has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons. He has started at least 16 games in all but his rookie year and has been a durable, dependable lineman throughout his career, playing more than 1,100 snaps in three of the last four seasons (and topping 1,000 in the fourth).

Drafted in the third round in 2018, Brown spent his first three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and the last two with the Kansas City Chiefs, who acquired him in 2021 for a package of picks that included a first-rounder.

The signing likely displaces La'El Collins from the Bengals' lineup. Signed as a free agent last offseason, Collins started 15 games in 2022 opposite Williams, and is entering the second year of a three-year contract. Brown also provides insurance should the team lose Williams in 2024. A first-round pick in 2019, Williams started 16 games each of the last two seasons. Cincinnati exercised his fifth-year option ahead of the 2022 season, and he is currently due to become a free agent next year.