Recently slapped with the franchise tag, Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert is likely to play out his one-year, $9.83-million deal before receiving any long-term offers from the team.
According to the Kansas City Star, Albert indicated on Monday that, while the two sides have talked, nothing is imminent regarding a long-term deal for the left tackle. More than likely, 2013 will serve as a “prove it” season for Albert after he missed three games last year due to a back injury.
Albert evaded questions from The Star regarding whether or not he would sign the one-year franchise deal in the near future. This uncertainty could lead to problems for the Chiefs, who need all of the stability they can get moving away from a 2012 season that watched them finish dead last in the NFL.
What makes this important is that the possibility of the Chiefs using their No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft on a left tackle is still in play. With top blindside protectors Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher available, there’s a good chance that the Chiefs could take their pick of the two while Albert plays out this “prove it” deal.
Whatever happens on draft day, though, Albert is adamant about playing left tackle in 2013.
“I’ll be playing left tackle,” Albert said when asked about the possibility of the Chiefs taking Joeckel or Fisher.
If Albert is hampered by health issues, it’ll be out with the old, in with the new. His inconsistent health has been a concern for the Chiefs, who might not be ready to invest big money into a faulty product. Especially with so many issues that must be fixed moving forward, there’s only so much green to go around.
It’ll be interesting to see how things play out for the Chiefs from here on out. Albert is tagged, but might not sign the deal anytime soon. The drafting of another left tackle could also throw a wrench in the works. The situation is fluid, yet fragile.
If there’s any coach who can make the most of this delicate situation, though, it’s Andy Reid.