According to Ernie Padaon of NFL Spin Zone, the Miami Dolphins are close to a deal with former Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert. According to Ben Nielsen at Arrowhead Addict, the deal is reportedly for $9.5 million a season. The deal is not official at this time.
As Nielsen points out, the Chiefs salary cap issues make it impossible for Kansas City to re-sign their Pro Bowl left tackle. They must allocate those funds to other areas, mainly the secondary and wide receiver.
Albert was selected in the first round with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played in 85 games in his 6 seasons with Kansas City, starting 83 of them.
Luckily for the Chiefs, they have a couple of decent in house options to fill the big shoes of Albert. Donald Stephenson will probably get first shot at the job. In his first two seasons with the Chiefs, Stephenson has played in all 32 games, and he has started 14 of them at right and left tackle. He has filled in nicely over the past two years when Albert has gotten a little beat up.
Last season, the Chiefs selected Eric Fisher with the number one overall pick but he struggled at times at right tackle. Though he improved as the season went along, he will probably start out the season again as the starting right tackle. The Chiefs have to hope that over time, he can develop into a franchise left tackle.
In January, it looked like the Cardinals might be pursuing the left tackle but nothing appears to have come of that.
The Dolphins were interested in Branden Albert before last season’s draft, but concerns about his health, and probably the Chiefs’ asking price, prevented a deal at that time.
Maybe this time, the Dolphins will get their guy. Branden Albert was a solid player for the Chiefs, and we wish in luck.