Chiefs’ Travis Kelce gets candid about ex-teammate Orlando Brown’s departure: ‘It hurts my soul’


Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce was not pleased to see one of his teammates jump ship and land with a rival AFC team.

Four-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr. signed a four-year contract with the Bengals in March. In 2022, Brown played with the Chiefs’ franchise tag.

The loss of Brown appeared to upset Kelce. 

“It hurts. It hurts my soul, man. Hurts my soul,” Kelce said on the “New Heights” podcast. “It’s like watching your best friend just turn evil on you.”

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Orlando Brown Jr. (57) and Travis Kelce (87) of the Kansas City Chiefs take a selfie after the Chiefs defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 30-29 at Arrowhead Stadium Oct. 10, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (Jason Hanna/Getty Images)

But Kelce understands the NFL is a business and that Brown had to seek a deal that was best for him.

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“It’s tough man,” the star tight end said. “Obviously, I mean, the past two years we’ve struggled beating the Bengals. So there’s been a lot of like built-up emotion of like … I would say, not necessarily hate, but just like dislike towards the Bengals because they keep beating us, and they keep talking about it every time they do. So it’s like, man, to see him go to the dark side man, it’s an awkward feeling.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) and offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (57) after a touchdown in the second quarter of an AFC divisional playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Jan. 21, 2023, at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) and offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (57) after a touchdown in the second quarter of an AFC divisional playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Jan. 21, 2023, at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“Obviously, I hope that he has an absolute Hall of Fame career. You know what I mean? I wish nothing but the best for OB. He was an unbelievable leader. An unbelievable teammate on and off the field.”

The offensive tackle spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Orlando Brown Jr. (57) of the Kansas City Chiefs and Travis Kelce (87) get set against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium Dec. 18, 2022, in Houston. 

Orlando Brown Jr. (57) of the Kansas City Chiefs and Travis Kelce (87) get set against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium Dec. 18, 2022, in Houston.  (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

In 2020, Kelce agreed to a four-year, $57 million contract extension with the Chiefs. Last summer, he agreed to a restructured contract that gave him a raise in 2022.

The four-time All-Pro tight end certainly doesn’t begrudge any NFL player cashing in on a big pay day.

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“All the guys that you just listed right there — Andrew Wylie, Khalen Saunders, Juan Thornhill, Orlando Brown, JuJu (Smith-Schuster) — all those guys, man, I love to see those guys get paid,” Kelce said.



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