Chiefs Plan to Keep Albert at Left Tackle

It turns out all of the commotion over the Eric Winston release about Branden Albert being moved to right tackle or let go in a trade was all for nothing.

Ian Rapoport reported Thursday the Chiefs are still trying to work out a long-term deal with Albert and plan to keep him at left tackle. The report came two days after Albert said on twitter he would never play right tackle. The Chiefs appear to agree with Albert.

Albert was franchise tagged on Monday as part of sweeping moves made by the Chiefs which included the re-signing of Dwayne Bowe and Dustin Colquitt.

Oct 7, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) is looked at by tackles Branden Albert (76) and Eric Winston (74) after an injury against the Baltimore Ravens in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Baltimore won the game 9-6. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

NFL.com’s Kevin Patra went a few steps further today suggest the Chiefs may still use their first overall pick on Luke Joeckel and move him to right tackle. He says head coach Andy Reid values left and right tackles equally so it would not be out of character for Reid to use such a high pick on a right tackle.

Patra also argues releasing Winston and replacing him with Joeckel or Eric Fisher would give the Chiefs a less expensive player at the position. The problem with that suggestion is Winston’s contract was very affordable at four years for $22 million. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the top overall pick would make about the same amount of money for the same amount of years. The Chiefs would essentially be buying one more year of play at a low cost. The idea would make more sense if the Chiefs intended to move Donald Stephenson to right tackle or draft a tackle in the middle rounds of this year’s draft. Both moves would save money for the Chiefs.

It doesn’t necessarily mean drafting Joeckel number one overall would be a bad idea. Drafting Joeckel would be done with the idea of improving the quality of play on the right side of the line, which is something he would immediately be able to do as Joeckel is a more well rounded tackle than Winston.

Kansas City could also fill the right tackle position through free agency, which starts Tuesday. Andre Smith, Jake Long, Sebastian Vollmer, Jermon Bushrod, and Gosder Cherilus are all available. All five were ranked in the top 25 of Peter King’s top 50 free agents list he released this morning.

 

Topics: Branden Albert, Eric Winston, Kansas City Chiefs

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  • Joel Wagler

    Outside of the Oakland game, Donald Stephenson played very well as a rookie subbing in for Albert for 5 games. Maybe the Chiefs are convinced he can be the starting right tackle.