Chiefs general manager John Dorsey spoke publicly about free-agent left tackle Branden Albert on Friday for the first time since a report surfaced last week that the team will not bring him back.
“I don’t know, that’s the first I’ve heard about it,” said Dorsey, who addressed reporters at the NFL Combine in Lucas Oil Stadium. “We have ongoing conversation with all of our unrestricted free agents. It just so happens we’ve had conversations with Branden’s representatives. That’s the beauty of the combine, those guys were here, and we will continue to have conversations with those representatives as the combine passes.”
The Chiefs prevented Albert, 29, from hitting free agency last year by using the franchise tag. They could choose to do so again this year, presumably at a cost higher than the $9.8 million it cost them for 2013.
But when asked if the Chiefs planned on using the franchise tag of any of their pending free agents — who also include starting guard Geoff Schwartz, receiver Dexter McCluster and defensive end Tyson Jackson — Dorsey said that was unlikely.
“We probably won’t use that,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey also said he has communicated with Alex Smith’s representatives as they work toward completing an extension that would keep the quarterback in Kansas City past 2014. Smith, 29, is coming off the best season of his career after the Chiefs acquired him from San Francisco for two second-round picks.
“We’ve reached out to every representative for every unrestricted free agent we have,” Dorsey said. “We’ve also talked to Alex Smith’s representative, as well.”
Smith carries a 2014 cap number of $8 million, but the Chiefs stand to gain roughly $3 million to $4 million of cap room if they agree to a contract extension, according to former agent and salary cap expert Joel Corry, who said that as of now, the Chiefs have about $6.62 million of cap space for 2014.