Brett Veach

Chiefs Eyeing New Deals For Chris Jones, Frank Clark

The Chiefs have a number of key decisions to make in their attempt to retain as many core pieces of their Super Bowl winning roster as possible. That will likely include moves keeping their two most expensive defenders in place beyond the coming season.

Both defensive tackle Chris Jones and edge rusher Frank Clark are under contract for 2023. However, their deals are each scheduled to carry cap hits over $28MM, which would be a significant obstacle to the team’s other priorities, such as a long-term deal for left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. New contracts (rather than restructures) for both Jones and Clark could thus be mutually beneficial for team and player.

“The good thing for us is that we have these strong connections with these players that have played here a long time,” general manager Brett Veach said on the subject this week, via Nate Taylor of The Athletic (subscription required). “They love being here. That’s a good starting point for us.”

Jones is likely to be a higher priority from the Chiefs’ perspective, but working out a new deal with the 28-year-old won’t be a simple matter. Taylor reports that Jones is seeking a contract which will make him “at least” the second-highest paid interior d-lineman in the league, behind only Aaron Donald. The latter agreed to a massive restructure last offseason, bringing his average annual compensation over $31.6MM. Jones currently sits at $20MM in that regard, which trails Donald, DeForest Buckner and Leonard Williams.

Jones remained a crucial member of Kansas City’s defense in 2022. He matched his career high with 15.5 sacks, setting a new personal mark in tackles with 44 and playing time with an 80% snap share. The former second-rounder earned a First-Team All-Pro nod, along with Pro Bowl recognition for the fourth straight season. A deal flattening his 2023 cap hit would pay dividends, of course, but Jones’ continued production could leave the Chiefs in a similar situation to that of wideout Tyreek Hill last year. The latter’s contract demands led the team to trade him to Miami, a deal which allowed them to divert resources elsewhere on the roster.

Clark re-worked his contract last offseason, something which came as a surprise given the expectation that he would be destined to leave in free agency. That possibility remains once again in 2023, as Taylor notes that a release prior to free agency is a consideration for the team to save much-needed cap space. A March cut would lead to $21MM in savings and a dead cap hit of $7.6MM. Veach stressed his desire to talk with Clark’s agents in the hopes of finalizing an extension before that becomes necessary though, adding that Kansas City would remain interested in re-signing the 29-year-old if he were to be cut and allowed to test the open market.

The Chiefs still have work to do to become cap compliant, something which will become more difficult assuming a second franchise tag is placed on Brown in the coming days. Extensions for at least one of Jones or Clark could be coming soon to grant the team flexibility to afford a multi-year Brown deal, while keeping the team’s defensive leaders in place for at least the intermediate future.

Chiefs GM On Designing Patrick Mahomes’ Extension, Building Around Contract

Signing a 10-year Chiefs extension back in 2020, Patrick Mahomes is finishing up the first year of that pact. After playing the final two seasons of his rookie deal, the soon-to-be two-time MVP has seen the market surpass that landmark agreement already. No reports of Mahomes unrest while tied to a through-2031 contract have come out yet, and the Chiefs made some notable payroll adjustments this year.

The AFC champions traded Tyreek Hill, not long after beginning talks about a second extension, and let Tyrann Mathieu‘s $14MM-per-year contract expire without offering him another deal. Kansas City also reached a pay-cut agreement with Frank Clark. The team did not restructure Mahomes’ deal this offseason, letting the superstar passer’s cap number spike from $7.4MM in 2021 to $35.8MM in 2022.

In place of Hill, the Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. They later traded for Kadarius Toney, doing so after second-round pick Skyy Moore struggled to acclimate. Missing Hill’s unparalleled deep-threat capabilities, the Chiefs’ receiving corps has battled inconsistency this season. Mahomes and Travis Kelce have still kept the ship on course; the Chiefs ended the regular season first in offensive DVOA.

There’s a pressure of not wanting to let him down, or fail him,” Chiefs GM Brett Veach said of Mahomes (via SI.com’s Albert Breer). “He can play any type of football, so you feel like you have a little bit more of a window to work with, in regards to what you can bring in here. But at the same time, the expectations are so high, there’s the pressure of you can’t miss anything and you gotta do whatever you can.

And maybe you don’t have $30 million to throw at a wideout, but you better get good wideouts because you can’t provide him with nothing. So it’s a double-edged sword.”

The Chiefs raised the quarterback AAV ceiling by a staggering $10MM back in the summer of 2020, via Mahomes’ 10-year, $450MM extension. That $45MM-per-year figure has already dropped to fifth — behind Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson — and potential extensions for Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts all stand to come in ahead of Mahomes’ AAV. Mahomes’ deal also came with just $63MM fully guaranteed — well off the previous pace and now several levels down from Watson’s record-shattering $230MM sum — but innovative guarantee mechanisms exist that trigger annual bonuses two years out as long as he is on Kansas City’s roster.

Chiefs director of football administration Brandt Tilis researched baseball contracts due to their longevity, per Breer, and the Chiefs conveyed their unorthodox plan to their centerpiece player. Mahomes’ agents sought a fully guaranteed deal, a la MLB pacts. The sides compromised via the guarantee mechanisms. Mahomes’ 2024 money became locked in on Day 3 of this past league year. His 2025 roster bonus ($38.9MM) becomes guaranteed on March 17, 2023, offering intriguing security. Mahomes has also begun to cash in on incentives — via the Chiefs’ latest AFC championship incentive — and is almost certain to collect an MVP incentive tonight. Those figures add up to $2.5MM.

We couldn’t do that,” Tilis said, via Breer, of a guaranteed contract. “What we could do was what we ended up with, which is we’ll just guarantee everything a year out. And they followed the math and the cap numbers and the cash numbers and all that, and it was like, How are we ever going to be able to cut this guy? So, I mean, it’s practically over $400MM guaranteed.”

Josh Allen‘s six-year accord came closest to Mahomes’. Otherwise, QBs have stayed on course with four- or five-year contracts. It will be interesting to see how early the Chiefs would be willing to renegotiate with Mahomes. A nine-figure payment awaits in 2027, when his 2027 and 2028 salaries and 2028 bonus lock in on Day 3 of the ’27 league year. With that date four years away and the cap back on its regular climb, the quarterback market will look much different by that point.

In trading Hill, the Chiefs initially turned down the Jets’ offer of their No. 10 overall pick, Breer adds. The team preferred a package of picks, leading to the previously reported Jets offer that centered around their two second-round choices. The Dolphins’ offer of last year’s No. 29 overall pick, 2022 second and three other choices won out. With Mahomes’ cap hits rising, the Chiefs look to continue a more draft-centric approach compared to their late-2010s blueprint. Rookie-deal players comprise 11 spots in Kansas City’s lineup, with low-cost vets like Smith-Schuster and right tackle Andrew Wylie also in this updated equation.

When Pat had that unbelievable ’18 season and he’s on his rookie deal, you’re trading for Frank Clark and signing Tyrann Mathieu,” Veach said. “You’re hyper-aggressive because you know how talented this quarterback is, and you know he’s in a rookie window, and you know that, within these couple years, you have a chance to really take a big swing at the fences.

You’re still gonna have to have an aggressive plan [post-extension]. But that aggressive plan ain’t gonna be dropping a ton of money and trading a bunch of picks. That aggressive plan is gonna be the flip side. It’s gonna be not being afraid to move on from players and trying to aggressively acquire picks as opposed to aggressively trading them away and spending money.”

Orlando Brown Jr. Reports To Chiefs Training Camp; Team Still Eyeing Long-Term Deal

With both Bengals safety Jessie Bates and Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. absent from their respective teams’ training camps, questions have been raised regarding when they would attend and sign their franchise tags. In the latter’s case, Monday has turned out to be the answer. 

Brown will report to camp today, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link). He, like Bates, had yet to sign his franchise tag, but will of course do so to participate in practice. Since he was not under contract during the week he missed, Brown will not be subject to any fines.

Under the tag, the 26-year-old will earn $16.7MM. The Chiefs came close to finalizing a extension which would have made Brown the league’s highest-paid offensive lineman, but it fell through in large part due to the structure of the final year of their offer in particular. The sides cannot negotiate again until the end of the 2022 season. When that window opens, though, the team is prepared to make another push for a long-term deal.

“The agency has advisors around [Brown], and we respect his decision,” GM Brett Veach said, via Jesse Newell of the Kansas City StarAnd it’s not going to limit our pursuit of him next year. We’re gonna continue to try to get him locked up.”

That represents a notably different tone than what some may have expected, given recent reports of the Chiefs’ frustrations over Brown’s decision to play on the tag this year. Nevertheless, Veach added that the team was going to welcome Brown back to camp “with open arms. I’m sure that [head] coach [Andy Reid] and I will get a chance to have a good conversation with him, and we’ll certainly let him know how much we love him, appreciate him.”

Barring an agreement being reached next offseason, a second tag would cost nearly $20MM, but leave the team with a lack of long-term certainty. Especially considering the price they paid to trade for the three-time Pro Bowler, a multi-year extension would obviously be their preference. Since his immediate future is no longer in doubt, though, attention will now turn to Bates, who has been adamant that he won’t play on the tag in 2022.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

Wednesday, we took a look at how the 2022 offseason changed the HC landscape. While 10 new sideline leaders are in place for 2022, not quite as much turnover transpired on the general manager front. Five new decision-makers, however, have moved to the top of teams’ front office hierarchies over the past six months.

The Bears, Giants, Raiders and Vikings rebooted their entire operations, hiring new HC-GM combos. The Minnesota move bumped out one of the previous top-10 longest-tenured GMs, with 16-year Vikings exec Rick Spielman no longer in power in the Twin Cities. The Steelers’ shakeup took the NFL’s longest-tenured pure GM out of the mix. Kevin Colbert was with the Steelers since 2000, and although he is still expected to remain with the team in a reduced capacity, the 22-year decision-maker stepped down shortly after Ben Roethlisberger wrapped his career.

Twelve teams have now hired a new GM in the past two offseasons, though a bit more staying power exists here compared to the HC ranks. Two GMs (the Cardinals’ Steve Keim and Chargers’ Tom Telesco) have begun their 10th years at the helms of their respective front offices. They have hired three HCs apiece. The Buccaneers’ Jason Licht is closing in on a decade in power in Tampa Bay; Licht will now work with his fourth HC in Todd Bowles. Beyond that, a bit of a gap exists. But a handful of other executives have been in power for at least five seasons.

Here is how long every GM or de facto GM has been in place with his respective franchise:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  5. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  6. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010; signed extension in 2022
  7. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2019
  8. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013; signed extension in 2022
  9. Tom Telesco (Los Angeles Chargers): January 9, 2013; signed extension in 2018
  10. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  11. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  12. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016; signed extension in 2022
  13. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  14. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  15. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  16. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  17. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  18. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  19. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  20. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  21. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  22. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  23. Scott Fitterer (Carolina Panthers): January 14, 2021
  24. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021
  25. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  26. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  27. Martin Mayhew (Washington Commanders): January 22, 2021
  28. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  29. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  30. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  31. Dave Ziegler (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  32. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

AFC Draft Rumors: Belichick, Chiefs, Broncos

The first round of the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft has been billed as one of the most unpredictable in recent memory. There is plenty of top talent that will anticipate hearing their names called from picks 1-15 or so, but NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport believes that, past that, first-round picks will be used on players that some teams have third-round grades on, and, ultimately, some players with first-round talent may fall to the third round. This is part of a common analysis that the Draft lacks the top-end talent of most drafts but is much deeper than most with the strength of this Draft being in picks 30-90.

Beyond the regular challenge of guessing who a team might pick or where a player might fall, there is the near certainty that every mock draft on the internet will go down the drain when a team ultimately makes a draft-day trade. When discussing what might go down this Thursday with the Patriots, ESPN’s Mike Reiss is riding the odds.

Since head coach Bill Belichick joined New England in 2000, the Patriots lead the NFL in draft-day trades with 83. The next closest team is the Eagles with 64. Reiss believes that Belichick will stay true to form and strongly attempt to trade down later into the first round, allowing the Patriots to collect more draft capital in that deeper part of the Draft.

Here are a few other rumors concerning how teams in the AFC will be approaching the Draft:

  • In accordance with the opinions above, Michael David Smith of NBC Sports reported that Chiefs general manager Brett Veach told the media they have 16-18 players on the board with first-round grades. The good news: the Chiefs have two first-round picks. The bad news: those picks are 29th and 30th overall. Veach doesn’t love their chances of having one of those guys fall to them at the end of the first round. The Chiefs could either combine those picks together to try and trade up and nab one of the guys on their board or, more likely, Kansas City will trade down, exchanging those picks for others in the 30-60 range that Veach likes, adding to their current picks at 50th and 62nd.
  • When the Broncos acquired quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks, they surrendered their two earliest picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Without those picks, they won’t have an opportunity to draft anybody until the last pick of the second round, which they acquired from the Rams in exchange for outside linebacker Von Miller. General manager George Paton says that if they suffer from the fear of missing out, they’ll just “watch Russell Wilson highlights.” Since the Wilson-trade took their first two picks of the 2023 NFL Draft, as well, ESPN’s Jeff Legwold reports that Paton will certainly be open to fielding trade calls in order to potentially get Denver some more draft picks for next year.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Chiefs OT Orlando Brown Jr.

In November, we wrote a Free Agent Stock Watch on Chiefs’ blindside tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Three months later and the situation is starting to clear up a bit. In case you don’t feel like reading the older piece, here’s a quick recap: 

A unanimous All-American at Oklahoma, Brown was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Ravens. Despite being considered a first-round pick for much of his last year in college, a poor performance at the NFL Combine plummeted the young tackle’s stock. Brown quickly made sure that the football world knew he was not going to be defined by his combine performance and became widely considered as one of the biggest steals of the draft.

Brown went to his first Pro Bowl in 2019, after his first full season as the Ravens’ starting right tackle. The next year, an injury to newly extended left tackle Ronnie Stanley pushed Brown to the left side of the offensive line for the last 10 games of the season. Brown made his second Pro Bowl that year after playing most of the year at left tackle.

At that point, Brown made it clear to the Ravens that he intended to be the best left tackle in the NFL. Brown’s determination to play on the left side of the line stemmed from his late father’s wish that he not settle for any other position in the NFL, so Brown requested a trade to an organization that would allow him to live that dream.

The Ravens honored Brown’s request and traded him to the Chiefs. It was initially thought that Kansas City would extend the young stalwart tackle and lock down their future at the position, but the Chiefs held off, allowing Brown to play out the final year of his rookie contract. Brown’s first year as a Chief ended with him becoming the only offensive tackle in the NFL to be in all of the last three Pro Bowls.

At this point, it’s not expected that Kansas City would let their blindside blocker walk away after only one year. Brown is a talented and, perhaps more importantly, young left tackle who not only dominated in the Ravens’ run-game-centered offense, where they passed the ball 44.96% of the time, but also dominated in the Chiefs’ pass-heavy offense, where they passed the ball 62.36% of the time.

Spotrac.com estimates a calculated market value for Brown at a five-year deal worth $116.58MM. That would give Brown the NFL’s highest average annual salary for an offensive tackle at $23.32MM per year, over the likes of Trent Williams ($23.01MM), David Bakhtiari ($23MM), Laremy Tunsil ($22MM), and former teammate Ronnie Stanley ($19.75MM).

In an article by Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, Chiefs’ general manager Brett Veach was quoted saying, “As far as Orlando, he was a guy that had a dream to play left tackle and had a small sample size of him playing left tackle at Baltimore. He’s another unique character, too, where when you talk about a culture and when you talk about a guy that does everything the right way, Orlando Brown is in the category.”

A conversation will likely need to be had with quarterback and former MVP Patrick Mahomes as his cap hit is expected to jump from $7.43MM in 2021 to $35.79MM in 2022. If the Chiefs are not able to figure out a long-term deal with Brown, they are likely to use their franchise tag to give both parties an extra year to come to an agreement. In the unlikely event that neither of those options play out, Brown will certainly become one of the top offseason priorities for any team interested in a franchise left tackle.

This Date In Transactions History: Chiefs Promote Brett Veach To GM

Brett Veach made his way through the coaching and front office ranks before hitting the pinnacle of his career on this date four years ago. On July 10, 2017, the Chiefs promoted the executive to the role of general manager.

Veach undoubtedly had the resume to lead the front office; after a few years as an Eagles coach and scout, he took the role of pro and college personnel analyst in Kansas City before getting promoted to Co-Director of Player Personnel, a position he held for two seasons. While the executive was certainly qualified to be GM, he also needed a bit of luck to get the job in the first place.

For starters, the Chiefs surprised the NFL world when they fired previous GM John Dorsey so late in the offseason. Dorsey had already guided the organization through much of their offseason tasks, including the draft (where they team traded up to select Patrick Mahomes) and extensions (where they handed Eric Berry a sizable pay day). Some pundits second-guessed the organization’s decision to not pivot away from Dorsey earlier in the offseason, especially since his heir apparent, Chris Ballard, had taken the Colts GM gig only months before. Ultimately, it sounds like Dorsey’s inability to effectively communicate and manage his staff (coupled with some questionable salary cap moves) spelled his demise in Kansas City. Rather than waiting another year to make a GM change, the organization decided to make their move at the end of June.

So, Veach took control of a roster that had lost in the Divisional Round in each of the past two seasons (despite averaging 11.5 wins per year during that span). After a 10-win 2017 campaign that saw Kansas City lose in the Wild Card Round, the GM made perhaps the most significant decision of his tenure. The Chiefs traded veteran Alex Smith to Washington, thus making Mahomes the full-time starter.

How has that worked out for the Chiefs? Well, Mahomes’ accolades are well-documented, but the team has also had plenty of on-field success. The team won 12 games and made it to the AFC Championship Game during Mahomes’ first season at the helm, they finally won that elusive Super Bowl during the 2019 campaign, and they made their second-straight Super Bowl appearance in 2020 (where they ultimately lost to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers).

Many fans want to give Mahomes credit for the Chiefs ascension into one of the best teams in football (rightfully so), and many pundits look back at Dorsey’s transactions and give him credit for forming the team’s core (also rightfully so). However, Veach has done a remarkable job of nurturing his roster by re-signing big names, taking shots on embattled or unheralded players, and making shrewd moves in both the draft and free agency. Signing Tyrann Mathieu to a three-year, $42MM deal was one of the GM’s best free agent acquisitions, and he’s also brought in contributors like Sammy Watkins and Bashaud Breeland via free agency, Frank Clark and Emmanuel Ogbah via trade, and Juan Thornhill and L’Jarius Sneed via the draft. The GM has also shown an ability to identify weaknesses and fix them. Kansas City’s offensive line dealt with a long list of issues in 2020, and Veach worked to revamp the unit by signing Joe Thuney to a five-year, $80MM deal and trading for Orlando Brown.

Perhaps most importantly, Veach has made sure that the team’s best players will continue to wear Chiefs uniforms. In 2020 alone, the general manager extended tight end Travis Kelce (four years, $57.3MM), defensive tackle Chris Jones (four years, $80MM), and Mahomes (a massive, unprecedented 10-year deal worth $450MM.

Clearly, the organization has valued what the GM has done. In 2020, the Chiefs gave Veach (along with head coach Andy Reid) a six-year extension.

Sure, you can question whether Veach deserves full credit for the Chiefs’ recent success, and it’s also fair to ask if he lucked his way into his position in the first place. However, plenty of replacements could have just as easily bungled the team’s roster over the past few years. Instead, Veach has helped elevate the team into a perennial contender.

This Date In Transactions History: Chiefs Promote Chris Ballard, Brett Veach

Despite going 50 years between their second and third Super Bowl appearances, the Chiefs have become the AFC’s best team to start the 2020s. They became the only non-Patriots AFC team to reach back-to-back Super Bowls since the Broncos more than 20 years ago and, per BetOnline.ag, are slight preseason favorites to win Super Bowl LVI.

Although Andy Reid is rightfully associated with the franchise going from a 2-14 2012 season to seven playoff appearances over the next eight years, the Chiefs developed some front office talent during this span. The Reid-John Dorsey power structure included key lieutenants, and two of those — Chris Ballard and Brett Veach — took steps toward future GM posts on this day six years ago.

On May 29, 2015, the Chiefs promoted both to the jobs they held when GM offers came. Ballard rose from Chiefs player personnel director to director of football operations, and Veach climbed to a co-director of player personnel post. Both execs served as key Dorsey sidekicks, with Ballard in particular drawing frequent outside interest. Ballard and Veach came to Kansas City along with Reid in 2013.

The Bears, Ballard’s team before he joined the Chiefs, interviewed he and Ryan Pace for their GM post on the same day in January 2015. That job ended up going to Pace, who remains Chicago’s GM. Ballard also surfaced on the Jets and Lions’ GM radars and interviewed for the Titans’ GM post that went to Jon Robinson. The Chiefs denied the 49ers permission to speak with Ballard in early 2017. The Colts hired him months later.

Veach has worked with Reid since breaking into the NFL as an Eagles intern in 2004. A step behind Ballard in Kansas City, Veach did not interview for any outside GM jobs like his former coworker. But the Chiefs ended up promoting him to replace Dorsey, whom Clark Hunt fired in June 2017, shortly after Ballard left for Indianapolis. Both GM rises have produced success.

The Colts quickly rebounded from three straight playoff absences, having made the playoffs in two of the past three years. Indianapolis did so despite some stunning sequences — Josh McDaniels‘ bailing on a head coaching agreement and Andrew Luck abruptly retiring — proving temporary setbacks. Although measured in free agency, Ballard, 51, has been aggressive on the trade market in recent years — as deals for DeForest Buckner and Carson Wentz have shown.

Following the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LIV victory, the team gave Veach a six-year extension. Veach, 43, played a key role in the then-Dorsey-led Chiefs trading up for Patrick Mahomes in 2017 and as GM helped give the superstar quarterback help. After revamping Kansas City’s porous defense in 2019, Veach extended Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Chris Jones in 2020. The Mahomes deal remains the NFL’s richest pact, at $45MM annually, though its 10-year structure stands to benefit the Chiefs.

Chiefs GM Brett Veach On Orlando Brown Contract Situation

Shortly after the Chiefs acquired left tackle Orlando Brown from the Ravens, we heard that the team was not planning an immediate extension. And in an interview with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk today, Kansas City GM Brett Veach said that contract negotiations will not commence until 2022 (video link).

When Baltimore granted Veach permission to speak with Brown’s camp, the two sides did discuss Brown’s contract situation. “We had lengthy conversations,” Veach said, and part of those conversations was the reality of the uncertain salary cap. Veach, like most people in the NFL world, expects the cap to improve in short order, but he does have Brown under contract for this season at a bargain $3.384MM salary, and he acknowledged that the club has other business to conduct. Presently, KC has roughly $10MM of cap space, but it still needs to sign its six-man draft class, and it will want to keep some flexibility throughout the summer and into the regular season.

It doesn’t sound as if much progress was made towards a new deal, and Brown and the Chiefs ultimately agreed to table the talks until next year. At that point, Veach and Brown will have not only a better idea of what the 2022 cap will be, but they will also get a sense of whether the cap spikes that are expected to come to fruition in subsequent seasons are realistic.

However, Veach said that “we’re certainly going to be committed to making this work long-term.” And perhaps the waiting game is in the team’s best interests. Although Brown played well when pressed into action at left tackle in 2020, he spent the first 2.5 years of his pro career at right tackle, and there is some question as to whether he possesses the quickness to consistently lock down the blind side in an offense that is much more reliant on the pass than the Ravens’ run-heavy attack.

Of course, if contract talks prove to be problematic next year, Veach would have the option of deploying the franchise tag. Right now, Spotrac estimates Brown’s market value to be roughly $19MM per season, and given that the five LTs at the top of the market presently have AAVs between $18MM-$23MM, that seems like a reasonable starting point in negotiations.

Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

When we ran down the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, we found that less than half of the league’s current coaches have been in their positions for more than three years. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there have been plenty of changes in recent years.

A handful of general managers have gotten to take their coats off and stay for a long while. Among coaches, Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003. Here, you’ll see that five GMs have been with their teams since before ’03 (Belichick, of course, is also on this list). Two of those five – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, and Saints, have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

Here’s the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs, along with the date they took over the job:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  7. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  8. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  9. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  10. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[7]
  11. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  12. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  13. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  14. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  15. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  16. Ryan Pace (Chicago Bears): January 8, 2015
  17. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016
  18. Bob Quinn (Detroit Lions): January 8, 2016
  19. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016
  20. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017
  21. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017
  22. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017
  23. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017
  24. Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers): July 19, 2017
  25. Dave Gettleman (New York Giants): December 28, 2017
  26. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  27. Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders): December 31, 2018
  28. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  29. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019[8]
  30. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020[9]
  31. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  32. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 28, 2020

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.
  8. In 2018, the Ravens announced that DeCosta would replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for Ozzie Newsome after the conclusion of the season. The Ravens’ ’18 season ended with their Wild Card loss to the Chargers on 1/6/19.
  9. Technically, the Redskins do not have a GM, as of this writing. Rivera is, effectively, their GM, working in tandem with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith. Smith may receive the GM title in the near future.