Branden Albert likely to be a Chief in 2013

While the Kansas City Chiefs can always still trade Branden Albert, it seems unlikely.

The Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins talked about a potential trade for weeks. The targeted compensation was a second-round pick. With the NFL draft headed to the fourth round Saturday, it seems a deal won't happen unless the two teams get creative -- even though the Dolphins still need a left tackle and the Chiefs would still trade Albert. But Friday night, Miami general manager Jeff Ireland admitted that the trade talks are likely dead.

Kansas City general manager John Dorsey said late Friday night that he will talk to Ireland on Saturday. But he also indicated he is fine keeping Albert.

“No I don’t think you could say that,” Dorsey told reporters in Kansas City. “All along we have considered Branden a really good football player. What did we do? We laid a franchise tag on him. That doesn’t mean that we cannot begin conversation with his representative down the road. He’s a winning football player, that’s what he is.”

It isn’t terrible news for the Chiefs if Albert isn't dealt.

They will be better in 2013 with Albert than without him. He will play left tackle and No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher will play right tackle. Left tackle is Fisher’s natural position, but he can play right tackle, and those two as bookends will be the makings of a nice offensive line.

If Albert leaves via free agency after the 2013 season, the Chiefs will simply slide Fisher over. Yes, it is pricy to have Albert at $9.7 million this season, but that money is already spent and it didn’t hurt the Chiefs in free agency, when they added several nice pieces.

The one potential negative is Albert's attitude. He wants a long-term deal; if he doesn’t get one, he might pout. But he will deal with it. He has kept away from voluntary workouts, but said he will be with the team when the mandatory sessions start.

Albert has not been a problem player, and he realizes he needs to have a good season in 2013 to either get a long-term deal for the Chiefs or elsewhere next year.

So while the Chiefs were interested in getting some clarity, they will happily play this year with Albert.