Nov 1, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert (76) walks to the locker room after the San Diego Chargers beat the Chiefs 31-13 at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The deadline has come and gone and the Kansas City Chiefs and LT Branden Albert have failed to come to an agreement on a long-term contract extension.
As such, Albert will play the 2013 season under the franchise tag, which will pay him roughly $9.8 million for the season.
The Chiefs had the leverage all along and there wasn’t much Albert could do about it.
The good news is the Chiefs should get the very best out of Albert his season. Since he is technically playing in a contract year, Albert should be sure to bring it every Sunday and bring it with a chip on his shoulder. The former first-round pick will want to put the rest of the NFL on notice that he is indeed worth the big payday he was seeking this offseason from the Chiefs.
This also buys the Chiefs time to evaluate not only Albert, but their other young tackles as well. There is a new regime in Kansas City and GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid will know a lot more about their players after a season of football than they were able to glean off of some game tape and a handful of limited practices.
Should Albert impress, the Chiefs might consider coughing up the big bucks to re-sign him. If Albert doesn’t impress, he could find himself moved to RT in favor of rookie first overall pick, Eric Fisher. That could hurt Albert’s stock should he become a free agent next offseason.
If I had to guess, I’d say Albert plays the season out at LT at a level we are accustomed to seeing and then departs in free agency ala Glenn Dorsey.