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The Cincinnati Bengals are remaking their offensive line again and this time they’re doing it by spending big on left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.
The Bengals have agreed to sign Brown, a four-time Pro Bowl tackle, to a four-year contract worth $64 million. The deal includes a signing bonus slightly over $31 million, which is the largest ever for an NFL offensive lineman.
NFL Network was the first to report the news.
It’s a pretty big deal for the Bengals. It means the team is adding another significant layer of protection for star quarterback Joe Burrow.
Orlando Brown Has Played Both LT and RT
And it means once coaches get a hold of Brown, the offensive line that was remade last season by adding four new players is going to undergo significant work again for 2023.
Brown has made the Pro Bowl as a right tackle in Baltimore and left tackle in Kansas City. But his addition in Cincinnati puts him at left tackle where he played the past two years for the Kansas City Chiefs. That means Jonah Williams, who has been the Bengals starter at left tackle since 2020, can move to right tackle.
The Bengals have been using Williams at left tackle where he’s been good enough, but many NFL people believe he’d be a great right tackle.
So the Bengals thus believe they are about to field an outstanding pair of tackles.
La’el Collins Bengals Future In Doubt
The fallout from this falls on La’el Collins. He who signed with the Bengals last season after playing for the Cowboys and started 15 games but suffered a torn ACL and MCL on Christmas Day and missed the last month of the season, including the playoffs.
Collins will likely be cut, per a source. Collins being ready for the start of the 2023 regular season was not a certainty.
The Bengals can save $6 million in cap space by cutting Collins before June 1. But they’ve had internal discussions about making that move after June 1. Waiting would bring a cap savings of $7.7 million. Whatever the timing, Collins will likely not be on the team once he gets healthy.
The entire point of this is to protect Burrow. He who was sacked 41 times during the season and five times in the AFC Championship game against Kansas City.