Update (12:24 p.m. ET): Annnnd now the Chiefs have given Miami permission to talk to Albert, hoping communication will help facilitate a trade. It’s a necessary step because Albert needs to be signed to a long-term contract, another element that’s pushing him out of Kansas City. He was franchised by the Chiefs, and if he signs the tender he’s due to be paid a fully guaranteed $9.82 million next year. That’s a significant sum of cash dedicated to one position for either team involved in this trade, and it’s why the Dolphins will look to negotiate a long-term deal to lower the cap hit.
Continually over the next week you’ll bear buzz words about potential players involved in potential trades. The draft is the last stop for assets to be moved during the NFL offseason, because if a team doesn’t capitalize on an opportunity next week, their possible trade partner will turn to the draft board to fill whatever need lingered. Hear that, John Idzik?
While the Jets continue to be recklessly stubborn with their Darrelle Revis dealings, last night another highly possible trade emerged, and it’s one that makes a whole lot of sense for both parties involved. That means it definitely won’t happen.
The Dolphins spent every dollar in their possession to address multiple needs during the opening days of free agency, most notably providing several weapons for their young quarterback (Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, Dustin Keller), and fortifying the defense (Philip Wheeler, Dannell Ellerbe). But the one area in which they failed in their financial dealings was with the guy tasked with keeping Ryan Tannehill’s head in a secure and upright position.
After the bidding war for Jake Long came down to St. Louis and Miami, the left tackle eventually walked, and signed on with the Rams. With the Dolphins on the clock at 12th overall next Thursday in the first round, they’ll be well out of range to select any of the top left tackles as Long’s replacement.
But where there’s a surplus, there’s a solution. Last night NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Dolphins are interested in Branden Albert, the Chiefs’ left tackle who’s being dangled on the trade market since Kansas City is poised to select either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher with their first overall pick.
So we’ve found a marriage here then, yes? That’s how it seems, because the Dolphins have a spare second-round pick to offer after the Vontae Davis trade. Specifically, it’s the 54th overall pick, and Miami’s own pick in the second round is much higher at 42nd. That’s a pretty nice leap early in the draft, and it’ll be the field on which this trade fight is fought.
If it were up to me — and it never will be — I’d push for that earlier pick, but I wouldn’t let it blow up a potential deal. Albert is a fine tackle, but had he entered unrestricted free agency this March, he would have been the fourth rated player at his position by Pro Football Focus.
A second-round pick — even if it’s slightly lower — is sufficient compensation for such a player.