Branden Albert has signed his one-year contract with the Chiefs worth about $9.83 million.
The Chiefs were unable to sign their starting left tackle to a long-term contract before the start of the free-agency period. Instead, they effectively prevented Albert from signing with another team by designating him as their franchise player.
Under NFL rules, the Chiefs were then required to offer Albert the one-year contract worth almost $10 million. Albert informed the Chiefs this week that he intended to sign the contract.
Because he is under contract, Albert will be required to attend the Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp in June and join them for the start of training camp in July.
The Chiefs and Albert are free to negotiate a longer term contract. If they fail to reach an agreement, the future for the Chiefs at a most important position remains uncertain. For that reason, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the Chiefs draft either of two tackles, Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher, with the first overall pick in the draft next month.
Both players are generally considered to be among the top prospects available in the draft.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid had high praise for Albert in an interview earlier this week, calling Albert “a Pro Bowl caliber left tackle.’’
Albert was a guard in college at Virginia but the Chiefs drafted him in the first round in 2008 because they believed he had the ability to become one of the NFL’s best left tackles. It took some time for Albert to develop, but in the past couple of seasons he has become the player the Chiefs envisioned.
Albert was limited to 11 starts last season after he experienced back spasms. General manager John Dorsey said recently that Albert had passed his physical exam and the Chiefs weren’t concerned about Albert’s ability to make it through the season.