There’s good and bad when a team goes out and grabs a lot of high-priced free agent talent. The good is obvious–you get a lot of high-priced talent. But the bad is that it can sometimes cost you draft picks or possible trades. Kansas City Chiefs LT Branden Albert is looking for a fat payday, and the Miami Dolphins‘ deep pockets suddenly are turning up lint, if you listen to some.
Without giving up some money already allocated on the roster, or giving the Chiefs some prized draft picks, the chances of Albert becoming a Dolphin are getting slimmer by the day.
There are reports flying around from different insiders regarding the Dolphins’ potential trade for Albert.
Yahoo Sports‘ Jason Cole stated that Miami was unwilling to meet Albert’s contract demands, which fall between between $8.5 and $9 million a year. However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport then shot that report full of holes, saying the Dolphins will come to terms with Albert on a contract, but will only give Kansas City the 54th overall pick. The Chiefs are asking for the 42nd pick.
Last night, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said that Albert’s demands have “turned off” the Dolphins, and that the two sides have had “little or no communication for almost 2 weeks.” Then we have Mortensen’s co-worker, John Clayton, saying that the Chiefs are trying to “play it coy right now”, presumably so as not to tip their hand on their intention of drafting LT Luke Joeckel. (Not for nothing, but wasn’t that hand pretty much tipped already?)
Clayton finished by saying the two teams are expected to complete the trade “right before or during” the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. “In the end, you know that’s going to happen,” Clayton said.
Given all the contradicting reports from all these supposed experts and insiders, how can we know what’s going to happen? The Dolphins have 11 draft picks, and giving up the 42nd overall pick isn’t going to break the bank if what they want is an experienced tackle to play opposite Jonathan Martin. But if a rookie will get the job done, and Miami isn’t as concerned with experience at LT, then there’s absolutely no reason for them to pull the trigger on this deal and commit to that type of money.
The Dolphins have the 12th overall selection Thursday, as well as five of the first 82 selections, which is the most in the NFL. I can’t see this deal being of such dire importance to the Dolphins. The Arizona Cardinals and other teams have already expressed interest in Albert, so the Dolphins would be doing themselves a favor to let others engage in a bidding war for his services, and find themselves a strong, young long-term solution at left tackle in the draft.