The Cincinnati Bengals showed they are serious about protecting the quarterback Joe Burrowsigned a four-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. on a four-year deal worth $64 million, with $43.5 million guaranteed, his agent, Michael Portner, confirmed to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
The Bengals paid a premium to land Brown, the former Kansas City Chiefs star who is one of the best available offensive tackles in free agency. According to Portner, the deal pays $42.3 million over the first two years and includes a signing bonus of more than $31 million, the highest for an offensive lineman.
The signing bonus is $10 million higher than offensive linemen Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and La’el Collins combined received when they signed with the Bengals last offseason.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets are among other teams that have shown interest in Brown.
He immediately bolstered an offensive line that improved at times in pass blocking but still ranked near the bottom of the league. Over the past two seasons, Burrow has been sacked 92 times, the most in the NFL over that span, and the Bengals’ offensive line ranks last in pass block win rate, an ESPN metric powered by NFL Next Gen.
Brown will also be the best player on the roster. He is one of four NFL offensive linemen to be selected as a Pro Bowler in each of the past four seasons, along with Jason Kelce, Quenton Nelson and Joel Bitonio. Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was the only player on Cincinnati’s roster with multiple Pro Bowl selections (two).
If Brown continues to play left tackle, that means being a former first-round pick Jonah Williams probably need to find a new position. Williams, who picked up his fifth-year option last season, has been the team’s primary starter on the left side of the line since he was drafted in 2019.
Brown and the Chiefs couldn’t agree on a long-term contract last season, so he played as their franchise player, earning about $16.6 million.
Brown, who turns 27 in May, was acquired by the Chiefs in a 2021 trade in 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 the same campaign, using his 6-foot-8, 340-pound frame to post a pass block win rate of 91.8% when protecting Patrick Mahomes18th among all offensive tackles.
He played three seasons for the Ravens, for whom Brown 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 made to his late father, a former NFL offensive tackle.
Brown has appeared in 81 games (75 starts) in his five NFL seasons and has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of the past four seasons.
ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.