The Cincinnati Bengals showed they are serious about protecting quarterback Joe Burrow, signing four-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to a four-year deal worth $64 million, including $43.5 million guaranteed, his agent, Michael Portner, told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
The Bengals paid a premium to land Brown, the former Kansas City Chiefs star who was 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 over $31 million, the highest ever for an offensive lineman.
The signing bonus is $10 million higher than what offensive linemen Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and La'el Collins received combined when they signed with the Bengals last offseason.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets were among other teams that showed interest in Brown.
He immediately boosts an offensive line that was 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 in that span, and the Bengals' offensive line has ranked last in pass block win rate, an ESPN metric powered by NFL Next Gen Stats.
Brown also will become the most accomplished player on the roster. He is one of just four offensive linemen in the NFL 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 previously the only player on Cincinnati's roster with multiple Pro Bowl selections (two).
If Brown continues to play left tackle, that means former first-round pick Jonah Williams will likely need to find a new position. Williams, who had his fifth-year option picked up last season, has been the Bengals' 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, 26, was acquired by the Chiefs in a 2021 trade with the Baltimore Ravens. He was the starting left tackle for every game except one in his two seasons with the Chiefs and was a Pro Bowl selection in both campaigns, using his 6-foot-8, 340-pound frame to post a pass block win rate of 91.8% when protecting Patrick Mahomes, ranking 18th among all offensive tackles.
He played three seasons for the Ravens, with 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.
ESPN's Adam Teicher contributed to this report.