The Kansas City Chiefs have 16 players heading into free agency, including three very important pieces of the offensive line. Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz were all big contributors to a unit that had an underwhelming start but got increasingly better as the season went along.
The Chiefs would love to bring everyone back, but as they learned during last season’s signing period, Albert and the front office are very far apart on what they believe he is worth. Let’s look at some pros and cons of re-signing Albert.
He is a very good left tackle and brings a valuable veteran presence to a young offensive line.
He’s overrated, and to his standards he had a subpar 2013 performance. He oddly received his first Pro Bowl nod this year which could add some hype and drive up his price tag. He led the Chiefs in penalties last season with ten despite playing just 13 games.
Albert will be able to get a lot more money than Kansas City is able to offer him elsewhere. They would need to do a lot of restructuring of contracts and make some cuts to be able to afford him. When Albert went down, Donald Stephenson filled in very nicely and proved he could be the starter if called upon.
Even if the front office gave him the franchise tag again (he made $9.83 million with it in 2013), the Chiefs could likely bring back both Asamoah and Schwartz for a fraction of what it could cost to re-sign Albert. Kansas City needs to focus on bringing back the other two free-agent offensive linemen and forget about Albert. His cost is nowhere near worth the production he brings to the field.