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October 14, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Daniel Te

What’s Next For Chiefs And Albert?

They’re all seated at the table now. John Dorsey, Jeff Ireland, Steve Keim and Branden Albert.

“Get outta town by sundown.” He got the message loud and clear. Then he stared across the table and growled, “I ain’t goin’ nowhere til somebody pays up!”

Yep, it’s an old story and he might as well have been sitting in a dusty, turn of the century, saloon in Dodge City.

The big question now is: what’s next for the Chiefs and Branden Albert?

No one wants Albert’s current franchise player contract, especially the Miami Dolphins who have already made Albert “an offer he could refuse.” But there are other players at this table. The Arizona Cardinals.

Some, who are standing on the outside looking in, have stated that Albert needs to lower his asking price, that he’s not worthy of what he believes should be his going rate. The presence of the Cardinals may change all of that.

That’s all fine and good but, until either the dam breaks, or Albert pulls his finger out of the dyke, the onus is on the Chiefs to do something else with their cap situation to make room for the players they’re about to draft into the fold.

 So, what are those options?

 The Chiefs could consider letting Tamba Hali go which could free up enough space to sign all the new drafted rookies coming in. Although, of Hali’s 15.5 mil cap number, 9 mil is dead money. In other words, if Hali is released, the Chiefs would still be out 9 mil towards the cap and that would leave them only 6.5 mil better than they are now. That would also dictate that the Chiefs draft someone like Dion Jordan number one overall to replace Hali.

If that were to happen then the Chiefs would once again be painted into a corner as far as who they would have to take #1 in the draft, and we know this regime prefers a position that is filled with prerogatives whenever possible.

However, the cap space must come from somewhere. So, where will that be?

It may likely come from the bottom of the roster. Here’s a list of 7 players who could get cut to help make space for newcomers coming in:

Even if the Chiefs moved every single player on this list it would only represent 61% of the amount a trade involving Branden Albert could get done. Now, we can see why it’s so important that the Chiefs trade Albert before the draft because the franchise tag is a $9,828.00 hit on the cap this year.

You may be wondering if the tag could be removed? The answer to that is no. ProFootballTalk says this about the Albert situation,

“Since it’s too late to rescind the franchise tag, the Chiefs could decide to trade him without an extension.  Though that arrangement would generate less compensation for the Chiefs, a condition could be added that would give Kansas City an extra pick or two if Albert signs a new deal with his new team…. Of course, if Albert isn’t traded he risks being moved to right tackle, or possibly being benched.”

Although the Chiefs hands appear to be tied, as it relates to the trade with Miami, there also appears to be a bit of a stare-down going on between Albert and the Dolphins. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes,

“…as this is officially the dawn of draft week, and all three parties — the Chiefs, the Dolphins and the Albert camp — would like a resolution to the issue that involves them all, the pressure on Ireland (Jeff Ireland, Miami GM) is about to mount exponentially… the Dolphins need to figure out how else they’ll solve their left tackle vacancy that apparently they’re not thrilled with Jonathan Martin filling. So, yes, there is pressure.”

Albert appears to be in the position of strength here. He can play out his year with the Chiefs and then go to Free Agency next year or possibly get tagged again for even more money.

The Chiefs, while not in the best position cap wise, at least are not without the services of a good left tackle. Juggling the rest of their roster to make room for Branden will take some math homework, but it’s doable. Including the possibility of signing Albert to a long term deal… lowering this year’s cap hit… but taking a chance his back will last the life of the new contract.

The Dolphins are in a bit of a spot. Picking at #12 will almost certainly guarantee them they will miss out on one of the big three left tackles in this draft: Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson. They also don’t want to be forced to make Jonathan Martin their left tackle.

Miami could package their 54th pick (360 points) with their 12th pick (1200 points) and possibly move up to the 7th or 8th pick in the draft but, there’s no guarantee that any of the big three LTs will be available after pick 5 (which belongs to Detroit). Besides, they’d likely have to give up more than their 54th pick for another team inside the top ten to be willing to move outside the top ten.

Seemingly… what the Dolphins will do… has everything to do with what the Chiefs will do.

However, the Chiefs may have other plans.

It’s reported that Arizona, who also is in need of a good left tackle, may have come to the realization that the big three LTs might even be gone by the time they draft at pick #7. Could they be players in the game for Albert’s services. If true, the Chiefs have more reason to wait and see who antes up the most. The Cardinals second round pick is #38, a much more palatable pick than teh Dolphin’s 42nd or 54th.

One last tip about what the Chiefs might do: if they don’t cut any players on the roster this week to make cap room before the draft, it would indicate they have a deal in place on draft day, or at least choices. One way or the other, the Chiefs have to have cap space cleared, to financially handle their new employees… by the end of this week.

It’s also been reported that the Chiefs are the hang-up in allowing the Albert to Miami trade to go through. If the Arizona Cardinals are also pursuing Albert, I can understand why the Chiefs would be hesitant to let Albert go when a much better pick, #38, could be theirs for the taking.

If this is the case, then the Chiefs would be best served by waiting until draft day and when the Arizona Cardinals are unable to draft left tackles Joeckel or Fisher or Johnson then they must exercise their next best option: trading for Branden Albert.

What the Chiefs plan actually is something that no one but John Dorsey and Andy Reid knows for sure. Anymore… I don’t know that they know either but I’m reasonably sure they know their choices.

How about it Addicts… what do you think the Chiefs will do next? Or… what would you like to see them do?

Tags: Featured KC Chiefs Popular

  • http://twitter.com/ChiefChop LeonSandcastle

    Kansas City could still trade Albert after the draft. NFL Network explained that they can also trade him for a lower amount after the draft if need be.

    It appears the deal is finished with Albert. Chiefs are just playing pong with the dolphins so they can get the 2nd round pick and maybe a future pick or later round pick (or a player)

    • ladner morse

      I have also heard that a team must have cap space BEFORE the draft to sign the players they draft. So, I don’t think the Chiefs can wait until after the draft to make their moves. Consequently, we should know everything we need to know on Thursday evening.

      • BigGil

        According to the CBA the moment a player is drafted the accounting books automatically take into account that the player gets a 4-year contract at the minimum rate. KC should have enough cap to absorb the minimum hit right away. Bearing in mind that earlier drafted prospects can and do wind up signing for more than the minimum and some moves will eventually have to be made before the early selections are officially signed, KC doesn’t have to figure out the cap before Thursday, but they will have to eventually…

        • elly violette

          Do you have a link for that???

          • BigGil

            I downloaded the PDF of the CBA so long ago (year or so) that I don’t have the link handy. I do remember that the CBA can be found on the NFLPA’s official website. I can say that that info’s found at page 17, Article 6 College Draft, Section 3 Required Tender, though.

          • ladner morse

            Here it is…

            Section 3. Required Tender: A Club that drafts a player shall be deemed to have au­tomatically tendered the player a four-year NFL Player Contract for the Minimum Active/Inactive List Salary for such League Years. The NFL or the Club shall provide the player with notice of such Required Tender before or immediately following the Draft.

    • elly violette

      How can the Chiefs wait until after the draft? Don’t they have to know before hand, or during, to ensure they have a good LT?

  • redchiefs

    While the Chiefs might indeed be the “hang up”, they are in the seat of power at the moment. Thanks for pointing out that it is possible to financially keep Albert and sign all the draft choices. Miami surely understands they’re not going to get Albert for the latter of the 2nd round draft picks, in fact, with Arizona in the mix they might need to consider giving up more than one draft pick to get Albert.

    • ladner morse

      It’s all perception… but, the Chiefs run the danger of Miami figuring out another way to cover their LT vacancy… and THAT could possibly leave the Chiefs high and dry.

      • redchiefs

        I don’t think they’d be high and dry. Albert hasn’t been belligerent is his reference to KC, he’s said he’d play under the tag if he had to. If the Chiefs drafted Fisher who said publicly he’d play right tackle, then actually the OL would be pretty solid, and the Chiefs would have another body that can play LT if Albert’s back didn’t hold up. If Miami, or now Arizona, want a solid LT, they’ll step up and make a legitimate offer for Albert. A high quality player, with a quality personality like Albert’s is worth 2 picks.
        Albert’s never had a bad attitude and he’s politely letting it be known he wants a long term deal and he considers himself a LT, not a RT. In fact, he’s a pretty solid LT, there’s no denying that. No one in the Chief’s entire organization has said anything other than they’d like to see Albert at the facility, that they can understand the situation.
        At the moment, the Chiefs have exercised their option under the labor agreement to franchise BA for one year, and are paying him according to that same agreement. It’s a good salary. Dorsey’s never said he wouldn’t give BA a long term deal. So, seems they approach Dorsey is taking is what it is. BA is here for one year, the Chiefs have been busy. Hiring a full staff of coaches and scouts, evaluating talent on this team, filling holes in FA (I mean adding competition) and are now busy preparing for the draft. After the draft, they will be looking for the undrafted rookies, then Dorsey will re evaluate where the Chiefs are, and what Free Agents are still out there. THEN he will have the time to sit down with BA’s agent and see about something long term.
        If Miami or any other team is willing to offer the Chiefs something fair, that is of value to the Chiefs, for the loss of our starting LT, I’m sure JD will listen, if they don’t, then the Chiefs will count their blessings at having a very good LT in BA.
        Thanks for that article Ladner, it helped me breathe a little easier. Very good insight to more of how it works financially.

      • TAZMOSIS

        For Miami to make that happen, they run the risk of coming away with no LT, including Albert. The ‘Phins cannot go into this draft without somebody in place. If that happens, their backs are against the wall, and they have no LT to protect who they consider to be their franchise QB. I just do not see them taking that risk. And with Arizona now in play, I see this deal getting done ASAP, maybe even today.

        • ladner morse

          It’s hard for me to see the Chiefs making a move BEFORE draft day. The longer they play it out .. the better off things are for them… they might even get bids for the first pick in the draft…… as long as they don’t show their hand.

          Today… the Dolphins were also rumored to want to be moving up. I think they’re blowing smoke but, in case they’re not… remember they do have 5 picks in the first 3 rounds… and that’s a lot of early leverage. They should be able to get where ever they’d like to go with all those picks. The problem for them is… they’ve had other plans for those picks and now … having to spend several on stabilizing their LT position makes things tricky.

          Tricky but, doable. And the Chiefs should remember that.

          • TAZMOSIS

            I hadn’t considered the possibility of BA still being there on draft day. If that happens, the Chiefs have some moves they could make, and really screw up the whole top end. Say that there are no trades, and the Chiefs pick at #1. As has been suggested, they take Fisher and let Albert stay at LT for 2013. That would work. Or, maybe Floyd on the D-line? Is he a reach at 1? Dion Jordon? Laddy, my head is spinning. I think I’ll have a cocktail and wait for R&D to lead the Chiefs to the promised land…..AFC West Champs!!!!

  • Derek Jamison

    Releasing Hali….hahaha you so funny.

    • ladner morse

      It wasn’t really my suggestion but, I’d heard it proposed before so I wanted to address it.

      • Bosco Cletus

        Moeaki has to about be on his last leg with multiple injuries including being inactive last week for the minicamp. As for Lewis, if his shoulders healthy, I’d say he starts again at free safety.

    • BigGil

      I love Hali (and have since his PSU days), but Reid is on record as saying he’d rather get rid of/trade a player one year too soon than one year too late. If KC goes the Dion Jordan route I wouldn’t be surprised if this could be Hali’s last year in KC. Cap playing a role in that (especially with a Houston extension looming). Just saying…

  • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

    Nice article Ladner. The entry of the Cardinals might be enough to bring this saga to an end. My only disagreement with you is that I would not consider Lewis or Moeaki “bottom of the roster players” and that’s where most of your savings is coming from.

    • ladner morse

      I included them on the “possible” list because they are not Reid and Dorsey guys. R&D have done quite a job of filling the roster with their own guys and it’s actually kind of hard to find enough guys who could be cut… who aren’t Reid and Dorsey guys.

      • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

        I think you hit the nail on the head. It is hard to find enough salary to cut and keep Albert. Due to their injuries, Lewis and Moeaki may be vulnerable. The best thing for the Chiefs right now is for an Albert trade to go through. I like Albert, but it seems like he will not be a Chief this season.

  • Jason Seibel

    Great article Ladner! This high drama is what makes the off season so much fun. I would actually like to see the Phins and Cards duke it out on draft day for Albert’s services. If the Chiefs are truly picking first then it’s pretty much a forgone conclusion they’re taking BA’s replacement. Regardless, can’t wait to see how it plays out.

    • ladner morse

      I can’t wait either Jason……. and can you imagine…. what if the Chiefs have had a “trade-down” sitting in their pocket all this time? We’ll find out on D Day. :)

  • Bosco Cletus

    Anybody see Albert on NFL am last week? He almost fell out of his chair when Steve Wyche ask him what he would do IF he got traded and that team moved him to RT. He didn’t even want to talk about it, its all about the paycheck for him.
    Either way, it should be done by the draft. It would be funny though to see him reject the deal out of greed, the Chiefs take their tackle of choice, then make him play RT.

    • ladner morse

      Yes… I saw it. It has always stuck me that Albert has this huge, somewhat sculpted manly body — and the face of a boy. I kind of wonder sometimes if he really knows what he’s doing? If he goes to the Dolphins…. I think he’ll ultimately end up being unhappy. One man’s opinion.

      • Bosco Cletus

        I also wonder how much of him bartering the price with Miami has to do with getting a little bit more out of them contract wise than KC. I would bet that Miami is just a tad bit over KC’s former contract offer from Pioli (that Albert spoke of) or maybe even the new regime, and now he wants to show them he can get it out of Miami instead and baste in the sunshine.

      • Danny W

        Too me it seems at this point there is no making him happy. His character kind of strikes me as a baby/immature kid.

  • mg2098

    A few week ago I said that the 3 LT in this draft won’t make it to Miami at 12. The cost compensation wise will be cheaper through the Chiefs to obtain a starting LT than for Miami to move up in front of the Cardinals at pick 7. There is also that the Cards aren’t sold on Lane Johnson as well. Maybe they become player for B Albert come draft day. There is a wild card though and his name is Kyle Long. Right now he’s some what of a sleeper and will make it into the top 25

    • elly violette

      I haven’t heard anyone ranking Kyle Long that high. Is that your opinion or have you seen web sites who rank him that high? I think many like him because he’s Howie Long’s son. I see him as a developmental prospect.

      • mg2098

        I would have to search, but I’ve seen him viewed as high as back of the 1st. I believe it was rotoworld based on NFL scouts. I’ll try and get back to you on that.
        http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2013/4/22/4252284/2013-nfl-draft-kyle-long-first-round

        • elly violette

          Thanks.

        • elly violette

          After looking that over…. it bugs me how so many different sites vary so widely on player rankings. I’m always wondering who to beleive. Is SB Nation a web site you trust more than others?

          • BigGil

            Players can be all over the place based on who’s doing the evaluating. When you figure that the 32 evaluation units (the teams) value things differently from one another, the entire draft ends up being a crapshoot in terms of who will aactually go where. For instance, I’ve seen Tennessee WR Justin Hunter mockedd to KC in the 3rd, and then other mocks saying he’d go in the 1st before teammate Cordarelle Patterson. In cases like this, he goes when he goes…

          • elly violette

            I’m just ready for the whole event to begin on Thursday evening. I really enjoy watching.

          • mg2098

            I go off sites to see projections. I take those reviews and come up with my own opinion/ evaluations. I am no scout but, I’ve played and watched enough football to know talent when I see it. Fisher, Long, Joeckel and Johnson in that order 3 years from now. Fisher and Long will end up being the two top LTs from this draft. Dion Jordan will be the most dynamic D player and Franklin will be the next CJ2K/Jammal Charles.

          • elly violette

            My friend likes Fisher the best out of the three left tackles too. But he wants the Chiefs to take Dion Jordan #1 overall. I just want the draft to come. I’m tired of waiting.

      • mg2098

        http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/8421/player

        Just type in Kyle Long 1st rd grade under google. I think you’ll find what I was talking about. He is defiantly a wild card as far as LT’s go.

        • elly violette

          I haven’t been to rotoworld but cbs sports has him ranked 56th overall.

  • ArrowFan

    They already have the draft money set aside to pay the draft players weather Albert gets his Tag money or not.

  • Danny W

    Arizona get’s super desperate and offers us up their second this year and a conditional third for next year. In turn Miami get’s really desperate and gives us both of their second round choices plus a seventh rounder. Deal done. We run out and immediately sign Andre Smith and draft Luke Joeckel. Is this scenario likely? No. But whatever is going to happen will probably be done by tomorrow. Waiting until draft day is pushing it for my liking.

    • elly violette

      Waiting until draft day may be pushing it? Why…. .don’t the Chiefs need to play this out? Isn’t that in their best interest?

      • Danny W

        What if the second round goes down and we get nothing for Albert this year and have to pay him. I just don’t want uncle Murphy showing up and ruining the party.

        • elly violette

          Mr. Murphy doesn’t rule the whole universe you know!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I think the Chiefs should hold out for Miami’s #42 pick. That or ask for the lower pick plus a late rounder.

    • elly violette

      Why ask for the 42nd pick when the Chiefs could get the 38th pick from Arizona!

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Does Arizona have the available cap space for Albert?
        I was under the impression that they didn’t.

        • elly violette

          I think Arizona has more than 14 million in cap space right now. I read it on nfl.com this week. Check there for sure.

  • micah stephenson

    I am alot like Brandon. I completely understand him. If I get hired by a company and I start of in the kitchen, then I work my way up to the mail room, then I work my way up to the call center, then the 4th floor, then the 5th and up and up the food chain. The copmany cud never come to me and say we want you to move back down in the kitchen and cut your pay in half. Never! Id go work for another company before I go back down to that kitchen. I only know 1 direction and thats foward. Im not going backwards for knowbody! So if thats what yall want me to do, its time to move on. I can live with people saying “aww Micah aint thinkn bout the company” & “he only cares about money” and they wud b right. The company dont care about me. They using me and wud fire/trade me in a heartbeat.

    • ladner morse

      Part of the problem here that this is simply the way the NFL is structured right now. When good players come to the end of their contracts and they have progressed… many of them want to be paid. It’s the way of capitalism.

      However, there is a bit of disconnect for many of us fans. For me, it’s hard to think about how it would be to make 50 or 60 million for a 5 year contract. As a fan… i just want to see the “all-for-one-and-one-for-all” spirit kick in. Some QBs in the league have restructured their huge contracts so the team can sign more good players. I don’t know that those QBs are earning less over the life of their contracts… but it sounds like they are doing all that they can for their team…..

      The Chiefs are caught in a hard spot. Albert hasn’t had his big pay day yet…. so he’s waiting… and the Chiefs are in limbo.

      • micah stephenson

        When the QBs so called restructure he takes more bonus money in cash that year to free up money for the cap. I dont know how the bonus money and cap ceiling are related.

    • elly violette

      Branden Ablert seems like a good guy to me. If he wants to get paid I have no problem with that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Larry-Vandesande/1692334818 Larry Vandesande

    Nice story, way to put it almost all together. The “almost” part is NFL Network’s report that Albert will take “Duane Brown money” in his contract — about $8 million a year, or second grade tackle money. I doubt Albert ever knew he could possibly have it this good — three NFL teams bidding or/around him and just about assured to break the bank with a nice long-term contract.

    • ladner morse

      Larry… do you have a link…. I searched NFL Network and couldn’t find anything on Albert wanting Duane Brown money.

      • elly violette

        What is “Duane Brown” money… I’m guessing that it’s a lot less?

        • BigGil

          Duane Brown (arguably the best, albeit unsung, LT in the league) signed an extension with the Texans last year for 7 years, $56.2m with $22.08m guaranteed. It comes out to roughly $8m/yr.

          • elly violette

            Thanks. I thought if the Chiefs signed Albert to a long term deal that they were supposed to be able to get him for less than 8 or 9 million this season.

          • BigGil

            Given the recent market, I’d put Albert in the $7.5-8.5m/yr range. Each of the past two seasons Pro Football Focus graded him out as being an elite pass protector, he’s just an average run blocker though. Given the increasing value of the passing game (and the fact that a team can get a ton of rushing yards without running to the left, as exhibited by Charles and KC), I would think a 2nd rounder for Albert is a hell of a deal. I kinda wish that Dorsey allowed (or allows) ARI to talk with BA’s agent about a deal. Their second rounder (which is better than either of Miami’s 2) is better for KC; as for the Cards (whether Arians wants to admit or not) they could get massively better upgrading of their OL through using a 2 on Albert and freeing themselves to use their 1 on Warmack or Cooper.

          • elly violette

            So you’re saying the Chiefs couldn’t run to the left as well last year because of Albert? Wasn’t Jamaal Charles long run against New Orleans last year — to the left side???

          • BigGil

            Not as consistently well as they could run to the right where Asamoah and Winston graded out beautifully. Breaking off one huge run to the left, and then having the next fifteen runs to the left gaining or losing 1 or 2 yards has the overall coming out as pretty badly.

  • Gene Wisdom

    Be smart Chiefs. Don’t jump the gun. GO CHIEFS

    • ladner morse

      Exactly my thoughts!

      I know we have all been waiting for weeks and months to know what will happen… but, I thinks it’s in the Chiefs best interest to play it out………

  • elly violette

    What if Fisher or Johnson are still around by pick number 12, when the Dolphins are ready to pick? What will happen then? What are the Chiefs going to do if that happens?

    • ladner morse

      If that happens… then the Chiefs will most likely have already made a move to secure their LT of the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Mayes/1706876815 Robert Mayes

    Hypothetical Discussion at the trade table…

    Albert – I want to be paid like a top left tackle.
    Chiefs – Yeah, and we wanted to win a lot more games too. We’ll pay you for what you and your team produced on the field this last year.
    Albert – …
    Miami – Yeah, we only want to pay you a lot if you will win games for us too…
    Arizona – Here I come to save the day!