There’s no denying that the Kansas City Chiefs had a great offseason; in fact, they may have had the best offseason of any team in the NFL. Of all the head coaches that were fired after last season, the Chiefs were able to convince the best of the bunch, Andy Reid, to come to Kansas City. Of all the second-tier quarterbacks that changed teams during the offseason, the Chiefs traded for arguably the best of a mediocre group, Alex Smith. But there’s one facet of this offseason that still hangs over their head, and that’s the situation with offensive tackle Branden Albert.
After last season, the Chiefs put the franchise player tag on Albert with the intent to trade him, but that hasn’t happened. A near-imminent deal with the Miami Dolphins fell through, and that now appears unlikely to happen. Things got even more complicated when the Chiefs drafted Eric Fisher with the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Drafting Fisher means that they view him as the left tackle of the future, which will make it less likely for Albert to get the long-term deal that he wants, at least with the Chiefs.
The Chiefs could proceed with Albert and Fisher as their starting tackles for 2013, which would give them a strong offensive line, but it might not be worth it to play like that for one season when they’re so far from competing in the AFC after last year’s two-win season. Kansas City could appease Albert and give him the long-term contract that he wants, but that would require keeping Fisher at right tackle for the long haul, essentially devaluing the first overall pick. Trading Albert is still an option, but after things fell apart with the Dolphins, that’s a lot easier said that done.
Whatever the Chiefs are going to do regarding Albert, they need to do it as soon as possible. Albert is getting increasingly anxious and unhappy the longer this situation plays out without a conclusion, and it’s tough to blame him for feeling that way as he just wants to know what the future holds for him and where that future is going to take place. As much as the Chiefs have accomplished this offseason, this situation with Albert is a black cloud hanging over them, and it needs to be resolved for the sake of all parties involved.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him to your network on Google+.