The Bengals began free agency for the fourth consecutive year with a big move, signing four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to a record-breaking $31 million signing bonus. Brown will be tasked with guarding quarterback Joe Burrow’s blindside just a month after helping the Chiefs win the Super Bowl.

Brown’s Four-Year, $64.1 Million Contract Shakes Up Offensive Line

The reported deal not only revamps the offensive line they reformed last year but also impacts the salary cap as they anticipate a potential massive extension for Burrow. While the Bengals previously stated that current left tackle Jonah Williams wouldn’t switch to right tackle, Brown’s acquisition marks their most significant offensive lineman addition since Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Whitworth Praises Brown’s Versatility and Impact on Team

Whitworth, now an NFL analyst for Amazon, highlighted Brown’s experience in Baltimore and Kansas City, citing his adaptability and potential to influence the team positively. He believes that when Burrow is protected, the Bengals become a formidable opponent.

Williams and Collins’ Injury Status and Carman’s Potential

Jonah Williams, who accounts for over $12 million against the salary cap, is recovering from surgery for a dislocated kneecap and is expected to be ready for training camp. La’el Collins’ availability for Opening Day is uncertain as he rehabs from a torn ACL. If Collins is not prepared, offensive line coach Frank Pollack mentioned that Jackson Carman could start on the right side.

Brown’s History and Commitment to Left Tackle Position

Brown, drafted in the third round in 2018, insisted on playing left tackle, leading the Ravens to trade him to the Chiefs. As the son of former Browns and Ravens left tackle Orlando Brown, Sr., he is devoted to carrying on his father’s legacy and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to do so in Cincinnati.

Brown’s Size and Strength Seen as Advantage for Burrow

Despite some opinions that Brown is better suited to right tackle, Whitworth disagrees, citing Brown’s productivity in both positions. He also believes Brown’s strength and size make him an excellent match for Burrow, providing stability and protection in the pocket.

Orlando Brown, Sr.’s Influence and Connection to Cincinnati

Orlando “Zeus” Brown, who passed away at 40 in 2011, was a respected figure in Cincinnati. He started his college career in Ohio before playing in the NFL as an undrafted free agent. Brown’s father played in key games against the Bengals during his career, leaving a lasting impression on the team and its fans.