Free agency is still more than a month away but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mills from getting started. To no one’s surprise, Branden Alberts name is already being thrown around. Here’s this nugget from Mike Jurecki, the Arizona Cardinals reporter for Fox Sports 910 in Pheonix.
— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) January 28, 2014
There were reports last offseason the Cardinals attempted to trade for Albert, but were, obviously, unsuccessful. It is unknown whether they’d be willing to trade for Albert again should the Chiefs decide to slap the franchise tag on Albert. The Miami Dolphins also showed heavy interest in Albert.
For the second offseason in a row, Albert is going to be a big name to watch for the Kansas City Chiefs. His situation is still pretty much the same as last year when the Chiefs decided to place the franchise tag on him. However, he’ll cost the Chiefs about $2 million more in 2014 should he be franchised, which could cause a problem given the Chiefs are already near the salary cap limit.
Letting Albert walk, franchising him, or franchising him in order to trade him seem to be the three likely outcomes for Albert and the Chiefs. There has been no indication so far that the Chiefs plan on signing Albert to an extension.
Reports before the 2013 NFL Draft indicated the Chiefs were seeking a second round pick but never received an offer higher than a third round selection. If Kansas City does not have any intentions of keeping Albert around then they might as well give him the franchise tag and put him back on the trade market. There are no other pending free agents worth designating the franchise player and it would give the Chiefs another day two pick to work with in the draft. Simply letting him walk when there is an obvious trade market available for him seems unreasonable.