Chiefs actively shopping Branden Albert, looking for second-round pick
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chiefs are in search of a 2013 second-round pick, as well as a pick in the 2014 draft, in return for the services of their franchise tackle. It's a steep price, but is not completely out of the question for some tackle needy teams. Albert has been very strong at the left tackle position during his five years in the league, and has been durable for the most part. A back injury, however, limited him to 13 games in 2012, and teams will want to thoroughly look into that before finalizing a trade.
Whoever trades for Albert would likely have to sign him to a long-term contract, as he is currently signed for one-year, $9.828 million under the franchise tag. The impending long-term contract makes the examination of Albert's back issue - which was referred to by Andy Reid as a "significant injury" earlier this offseason - all the more important.
The first potential trade partner that comes to mind is the Miami Dolphins, who recently lost their left tackle (Jake Long) to the St. Louis Rams. The Dolphins have been extremely aggressive so far this offseason, and they no longer have many glaring needs. Their two weakest areas appear to be cornerback, which they can address in the draft with the 12th overall pick, and the offensive line. If they have the opportunity to address one of their two biggest needs by giving up a second-round pick, it wouldn't be surprising to see the aggressive Dolphins pull the trigger. Of course, it may depend on what type of 2014 draft pick the Chiefs are looking for.
Other teams that could be interested include the New Orleans Saints, who just lost left tackle Jermon Bushrod to the Chicago Bears. Bushrod has started 16 games in each of the past three season for the Saints, and was a Pro Bowler in 2011. Another potential suitor for Albert could be the San Diego Chargers, who have huge needs all along their offensive line. The Chiefs, however, may be reluctant to trade a good player to an AFC West rival.
The Chiefs' search for an Albert trade partner makes it seem like a near lock that they will be drafting either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher (the draft's top two offensive tackles) with the first overall pick in the draft. Joeckel appears to be the frontrunner, and has a private workout with the Chiefs scheduled for Friday.
After releasing starting right tackle Eric Winston, the Chiefs could still draft a tackle, keep Albert, and move one of them to the right side. If the Chiefs don't get an offer they like for Albert, by no means do they have to sell on the cheap. There is plenty of upside to having two strong bookends on your offensive line. It would not be surprising, however, to see a team offer something that the Chiefs find acceptable, and see Albert in a new uniform next season.