At 3:00 PM Arrowhead time today, the clock will expire on teams being able to use their franchise tag on players. That means, if Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey is behind closed doors with a player’s agent right now, he has until that time to reach a deal or risk losing the player to free agency, which begins a week from tomorrow.
When asked if the Chiefs would apply the tag to any player this year — especially left tackle Branden Albert who got the tag last year –Dorsey went on record indicating the negative.
“Probably not,” Dorsey said. “We probably won’t use it.”
That means that there is going to be some turnover on the Chiefs roster this year, and one of those spots will be the tackle position. But, don’t rule out Dorsey doing the “Kansas City Shuffle” at the last minute and applying the tag, if he feels that’s the right move.
Even if the tag is applied to a player, a team still has the option to trade that player. The Chiefs gambled with that scenario last year with Albert. After franchise tagging him at the last minute possible, trade rumors heated up between the Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins leading all the way up to the NFL Draft. This year, there are more teams than ever interested in Albert. Right now, the Dolphins have renewed their interest and the Arizona Cardinals and the Tampa Bucanneers are also rumored to have interest in the Chiefs pro bowl left tackle.
It’s a risky gamble though for a GM to use the tag with the intent to trade the player. If the trade talks dry up, the Chiefs would be stuck paying Albert on the north side of $11 million — which is 120 percent of what he made last year — the CBA mandated stipulation of tagging a player in consecutive seasons.
There’s a lot of news coming out of the NFL league office today of teams making deals with pending free agents, applying franchise tags and even restructuring deals to free up cap space. In direct contrast to last year, there hasn’t been a peep out of One Arrowhead Drive.
We can only wonder what Dorsey and his team are working on.