If you are wondering to yourself why the Chiefs are not going to re-sign Branden Albert, look no further than the money. A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson says the Pro Bowl left tackle is expected to sign a deal with Miami worth $9.5 million.
From the report:
Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Branden Albert is expected to sign with the Miami Dolphins for an average of $9.5 million annually.
The official salary cap number floating around for the Chiefs is slightly over $9.9 million. Kansas City simply did not have the space to sign him unless they cut someone or restructured a contract or two. Even then, had the Chiefs re-signed Albert, they would not have had much space to re-sign their other free agents.
One thing to wonder here is if the Chiefs should have placed the franchise tag on Albert and then tried to trade him. Rumors suggest the Chiefs were offered up to a third-round pick for Albert last season. With the market the way it is this year and the number of teams interested in obtaining a left tackle, one wonders if the Chiefs could have gotten that second-round pick they were looking for last year.
There are two problems here as to why the Chiefs could have gone that route. First is the risk of not being able to trade Albert, which would saddle the Chiefs with a $11.2 million cap hit for 2014. And there’s the other problem, the cap money. The Chiefs have to be under $133 million by Tuesday, which they clearly are. But if they had franchised Albert, it would have meant they would have needed to cut someone to make sure they were under the cap by deadline. That may have been an issue.
Reality is Albert was/is too expensive to keep and the Chiefs have too many other needs to try to move heaven and earth to keep him. It’s a shame but that’s the reality of a salary cap world.