There have been plenty of rumors swirling about the Miami Dolphins' hole at left tackle ever since Jake Long signed with St. Louis. The most recent has connected the Dolphins to Kansas City left tackle Branden Albert.
There were initial reports about it, then the Chiefs confirmed that they gave Miami the chance to negotiate with Albert because he was franchise tagged by Kansas City and would have to be signed to a long-term contract in order for the deal to even be considered.
Currently, Albert would be owed $9.8 million this season. For the Dolphins to take on that expensive one-year deal, while giving up a second-round pick for a player who could just walk away next offseason, would be ludicrous and isn't a possibility.
The trade itself, on the surface, seems to make some sense. Miami is in dire need of a tackle and has two second-round picks, so that checks out.
But there are numerous issues with the trade that make it unfavorable for the Dolphins. First is the asking price which Albert has reportedly put out during negotiations this weekend.
If he's looking for $8 to $9 million a year, he might get it as an unrestricted free agent next year—which is exactly what he'll be unless he lowers that price.
Jake Long was also looking for a deal in that range, and if the Dolphins were unwilling to give it to him, why would they trade away a second-round pick to pay Albert that same amount of money?
Albert is no Long either. Albert has dealt with some weight and back problems and does not get a glowing report for his attitude. He's also a year older than Long.
There are also problems with trading away the second-round pick for Albert, regardless of the contract aspect of it. The Dolphins are in a pretty good position right now with five picks in the first three rounds of a pretty deep draft.
While the top three tackles will all be gone by the time Miami selects at 12, there are a few good second-tier prospects who could be had with the 42nd pick.
Would the Dolphins rather pay a lot to a 28-year-old Albert and keep Johnathan Martin on the right side, or take one of the guys in the draft?
If it's me making decisions, I'm taking Menelik Watson, Terron Armstead or Justin Pugh in the second round and switching Johnathan Martin to left tackle, where he played in college.
Don't forget that Eric Winston and Tyson Clabo are also still on the market and would be much better signings for the Dolphins. Even if they drafted one of the tackles mentioned above, they could still get either Winston or Clabo on a shorter deal and let the rookie prospects develop behind them.
Don't expect Branden Albert to be playing for Miami next year unless he lowers his asking price by a few million dollars.
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