Monday’s deadline to sign franchised players to a long-term deal has passed without an agreement between the Kansas City Chiefs and LT Branden Albert.
- Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that talks “never really got off the ground today.”
Albert, 28, will play the 2013 season for a guaranteed $9.828 million. Next year’s free agent class offers more talent at the left tackle position, so it’s not as though he will be in a position to break-the-bank.
Kansas City took Eric Fisher with the No. 1 overall pick, so they clearly have a long-term plan in place and didn’t need to commit to Albert at this point in time.
We have Albert listed as the No. 20 player in our Top 50 – 2014 Free Agents list.
Previous reports indicated that there was at least a chance that the two sides could reach an agreement, but that is apparently no longer the case.
NFL teams have not shown a lot of interest in negotiating long-term deals ahead of the franchise deadline, which could have something to do with the very team-friendly contracts signed this offseason.
The Chiefs placed their franchise tag on Albert back in February, which will run them $9.828 million for the 2013 season.
Albert, 28, is believed to be targeting as much a $9 million per season, which would put him just above Jake Long in terms of annual base salaries.
Given that the Chiefs used the No. 1 overall pick on Eric Fisher, it seems unlikely that they would be willing to commit that kind of money to him. Fisher should be able to slide over to the left side, while they target a right tackle in the draft or free agency.
The recent free agent market wasn’t exactly great for right tackles, so it seems reasonable to assume that they would be able to find a quality option in the coming years if needed. Should Albert depart via free agency, they should be able to recoup a fourth-round compensatory pick for losing him.