The already-stacked AFC reloaded this offseason, so it's imperative the LA Chargers get off to a fast start in 2022. Fans don't even have to look beyond the AFC West to realize that, as the Broncos traded for Russell Wilson and the Raiders added Davante Adams and Chandler Jones.
Fittingly enough, the Chargers' first two games will come against the division. They'll get the Raiders at home in Week 1, presenting an immediate opportunity to avenge their gutting Week 18 loss to Las Vegas that sent them packing.
In Week 2, Los Angeles will lock horns with Kansas City, who are still one of the Super Bowl favorites even after trading away Tyreek Hill. The division rivals split their home-and-home series in 2021, and it took overtime for the Chiefs to knock off Brandon Staley's group in Week 15, so there isn't much separating these squads.
Still, it's the Chiefs we're talking about, so the Chargers will take any and all advantages they can get before Week 2 rolls around.
Luckily for them, there's a chance left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. isn't in the lineup. Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Brown's contract holdout could extend into the regular season (!) if he doesn't reach a long-term deal before Friday.
The Chargers would catch a huge break if Orlando Brown Jr. doesn't play for the Chiefs in Week 2.
The Chiefs used the franchise tag on Brown this offseason, and the deadline for tagged players to agree to long-term extensions is Friday. With both sides reportedly not seeing eye-to-eye in negotiations, Brown seems content to sit out regular season games until he's offered a contract that properly reflects his value.
If a deal isn't reached, Brown would play 2022 under the one-year, $16.66 million tag. Having not missed a game over his four-year career and making three-straight Pro Bowls, Brown's $16.66 million earnings would place him eighth among LTs, behind the likes of Garrett Bolles, Cam Robinson, Colton Miller and Jake Matthews.
After seeing Laremy Tunsil, who's yet to play a full season in six years, sign for $22 million annually and $50 million guaranteed, it's fair to assume Brown wants something north of $20 million at the bare minimum from the Chiefs.
Whether the Chiefs budge remains to be seen, but the Chargers will be hoping they continue to nickel-and-dime the 26-year-old stud.
According to Pro Football Focus, Brown has allowed just 10 sacks over 3,259 snaps to go with a sublime 78.4 pass-blocking grade in the last three seasons, further proving he's one of the game's best young tackles.
Tasked with protecting Patrick Mahomes' blindside, you have to think Chargers pass rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack are salivating at the mouth thinking about Brown potentially missing the team's Week 2 matchup at Arrowhead.