New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Leading up to the Super Bowl, it was reported that the Kansas City Chiefs planned to franchise tag starting left tackle and pending free agent Orlando Brown. Such a move would take the top free agent left tackle off the market, leaving a significant drop-off to the next-closest player at the position. For a team that needs a tackle like the Patriots, this was a notable development.

It seems though like things have changed in the last month. On Monday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport shared that the Chiefs no longer plan to place the tag on Brown ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.

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  • Now, this doesn’t mean Brown is a lock to hit the open market when free agency begins next week. According to Albert Breer of SI, the Chiefs are changing curse because of “their desire to lock in a long-term LT this offseason,” and the feeling that using the franchise tag would hurt that process.

    It’s a situation worth monitoring for the Patriots though. To this point, the prevailing thought has been to address the right tackle position in free agency, where all but one (or none if Brown stays in KC) of the top players are right tackles, then left tackle need in the draft, where all but one of the elite players at the position are left tackles. Brown becoming available could give the Patriots room to flip that though, if they see it as a better path.

    Whatever combination they choose to do it, the Patriots do need to add a tackle with a premium asset this offseason. Currently they only have three tackles on the roster. Trent Brown is 29 and entering a contract year, and the team can save between $7 million and $10 million if they move on from him. Behind him are last year’s backup right tackle Conor McDermott, and 2022 seventh-round draft pick Andrew Stueber, who missed the entire season with a torn hamstring.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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