Two of the biggest names on Bears fans’ free agency wish list may never hit the market. When speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid hinted that Kansas City would make sure left tackle Orlando Brown and right tackle Andrew Wylie each stick around.
“Those guys obviously had good years for us,” Reid told reporters on Tuesday. “All these contract things I haven’t gotten with (Chiefs GM Brett) Veach on at all. I kind of stay out of that world, but I think both guys are very well-liked here and I’m sure that Brett will surely make a strong attempt at keeping them here. But we’ll see how that goes.”
Brown shared the same sentiment himself after the Super Bowl.
“I’m pretty sure I know I’ll be here next year, but we’ll see how things go,” Brown said on Sunday.
Brown played on the franchise tag last season, and there’s a chance he gets tagged again if he and the Chiefs can’t work out a long term deal. That would be an expensive option, however, since Brown’s salary would go up 20% for just the one year deal. In that scenario, Brown would earn just under $20 million for the season.
Teams are only allowed to use one tag per year, so in order to keep both Brown and Wylie, the Chiefs will need to sign at least one to a new contract.
The Bears offensive line provided inconsistent pass protection for Justin Fields throughout the year. Part of that can be explained because they started a rookie in Braxton Jones at left tackle. Constant injuries that necessitated reshuffling throughout the season didn’t help either. Other times, the Bears were simply outmatched. No matter how you look at it, though, Brown and Wylie would each provide a boost if Ryan Poles managed to sign them.
Teams can begin placing franchise tags on players on Feb. 21. The negotiating period for free agents begins Mar. 13.