Many outlets are confirming that the Kansas City Chiefs are set on Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel at No. 1 overall. Now ESPN is reporting that the Miami Dolphins have been given permission to speak with erstwhile Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert, who rumors say KC has been shopping for an early second-rounder in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Despite sending out apparent smoke screens that they are content with Jonathan Martin on the blindside, the Dolphins seem desperate for a left tackle and will have trouble finding a top LT prospect at pick No. 12. The Chiefs hit Albert with the franchise tag this offseason and seem unwilling to give him a long-term deal.
In meeting with Albert, Miami will probably look for assurance that a long-term agreement can been made between the two sides before pulling the trigger on a trade.
“I want that long-term commitment,” Albert told the NFL Network in early April. “But as you know in football, you don’t have too much control of the situation. I want to play for the Chiefs, but I want that commitment long term.”
The 28-year-old offensive lineman out of Virginia has proven himself valuable at guard and steadily grew into the left tackle spot, now sitting in the tier of good but not-quite-elite left tackles in this league. Questions have lingered for weeks as to whether the Chiefs would move Albert to right tackle upon drafting Joeckel and pay him $9.828 million in 2013 per franchise tag, negotiate a long-term deal to bring down Albert’s 2013 cap hit, or deal him for an early-round pick.
The new Chiefs regime of Andy Reid and John Dorsey cut starting right tackle Eric Winston but retained promising young tackle Donald Stephenson and signed versatile free agent Geoff Schwartz