Orlando Brown (American football)

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For other people with the same name, see Orlando Brown.
Orlando Brown
Rsz orlando-brown-nfl.jpg
No. 77, 78
Position: Tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1970-12-12)December 12, 1970
Place of birth: Washington, D.C.
Date of death: September 23, 2011(2011-09-23) (aged 40)
Place of death: Baltimore, Maryland
Height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Weight: 360 lb (163 kg)
Career information
High school: Washington (DC) Woodson
College: South Carolina State
Undrafted: 1993
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 129
Games started: 119
Fumble recoveries: 3
Player stats at NFL.com

Orlando Claude "Zeus" Brown (December 12, 1970 – September 23, 2011) was an American football player who played offensive tackle in the NFL. He attended Howard D. Woodson High School. He was released by the Baltimore Ravens in March 2006, and previously played for the Cleveland Browns. He played college football for Willie Jeffries at South Carolina State University.[1]

Early years[edit]

Orlando Brown was born in 1970 in Washington, D.C. Brown attended H. D. Woodson Senior High School. He went to South Carolina State University and played offensive tackle.

NFL career[edit]

First stint with Browns[edit]

Orlando Brown signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent in 1993. He spent three seasons with the Browns.

First stint with Ravens[edit]

In 1996, the Browns franchise was suspended, and former Browns owner Art Modell moved most of his players, including Brown, to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens. In his first stint as a Raven, Brown who, at 6-foot-7, 360 pounds, was known as an energetic and intimidating player, earned the nickname "Zeus".[2] In his prime he was one of the highest-paid offensive linemen in the NFL.[2]

Second stint with Browns[edit]

Brown was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the "reactivated" Cleveland Browns before the 1999 season. During a December 19, 1999 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brown was accidentally hit in the right eye by a penalty marker weighted with ball bearings thrown by referee Jeff Triplette.[2] Triplette immediately apologized to Brown. Brown was holding his hand to his eye and then shoved Triplette, knocking him to the ground. Brown was ejected from the game and subsequently suspended by the NFL, although the suspension was lifted when his injury did not heal. Brown was one of only two players to have played for the original Cleveland Browns and the Browns after the team was revived in 1999, as most of the Browns roster was moved to Baltimore. The other player is Antonio Langham.

Out of football, injuries, and lawsuits[edit]

Brown sat out the entire 2000 season waiting for his right eye to heal. The Browns released him after the season. In 2001, he sued the NFL for $200 million in damages. According to reports, he settled for a sum between $15 million and $25 million in 2002.[2]

Second stint with Ravens[edit]

Brown spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons in rehabilitation before he was picked back up by the Ravens in 2003.

During the 2003 season while playing for the Ravens, Brown started at both offensive and defensive tackle in a game against the Oakland Raiders. He remained with the team until shortly before the 2006 NFL season, when he was released. Following his retirement, Brown retained ties with the Ravens and mentored players.[2]

After football[edit]

After retiring from football, Brown went into the restaurant business, and became the owner of the first Fatburger franchise in Maryland.[3]

In September 2009, Brown was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary and destruction of property.[4] The charges were later dropped.[5]


Brown was found dead on September 23, 2011, in his Baltimore townhouse.[6][7] The state medical examiner ruled that Brown died of diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment common among diabetics and caused by high blood sugar and lack of insulin.[8] He is survived by three sons: Orlando, Jr., Justin and Braxton; and two daughters: Tanisha and India.[2]


  1. ^ "Orlando Brown Stats, News, Photos". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Slotnik, Daniel E. (23 September 2011). "Orlando Brown, Who Sued N.F.L. Over Errant Flag, Dies at 40". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Fog Cutter Capital Group, Inc.'s Fatburger Unit Opens First Maryland Restaurant with Former NFL Player Orlando Brown" (Press release). Fatburger. January 12, 2009. Archived from the original on April 11, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Orlando Brown arrested, charged twice". ESPN. September 4, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Charges dismissed against Orlando Brown". Scout.com. January 9, 2010. Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Former Ravens Player Orlando Brown Found Dead". WBALTV.com. September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Ex-Ravens tackle Orlando Brown dies". ESPN.com. September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Medical examiner: Orlando Brown died of diabetes complications". October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.