Albert, who signed a $9.8 million franchise tag late last month, has publicly criticized the Chiefs for dragging their feet as he looks to secure a long-term contract. Now less than two weeks before the NFL Draft, Kansas City has reportedly lowered its price tag for Albert. On Monday, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported that the Chiefs would be willing to trade Albert for a second-round pick.
Albert's high salary cap figure could dissuade teams with a need for a bookend tackle from surrendering a top-60 pick. At the same time, the rookie salary cap has also made it more enticing for teams to pursue a left tackle early in the draft.
Last April in a run on offensive linemen, four teams selected tackles in the span of six picks at the start of the second round. Browns tackle Mitchell Schwartz (No. 37), Panthers tackle Amini Silatolu (No. 40), Bills tackle Cordy Glenn (No. 41) and Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (No. 42) all signed four-year deals in the range of $4.7 million to $5.17 million with their respective teams. The aforementioned tackles each carried a cap hit of less than $1 million in their rookie seasons. By comparison, Rodger Saffold, the first pick of Round 2 in the 2010 Draft, signed a four-year, $6.3 million deal with St. Louis. The Rams' left tackle had a cap hit of $2.15 million in his rookie year.
The Chiefs have reportedly expressed interest in selecting a left tackle No. 1 overall pick. Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M, Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and Lane Johnson of Oklahoma are all ranked in the top 6 of CBSSports.com's latest Draft projections. While Albert said he is aware of the Chiefs' interest in the tackles, he wants to remain on the left side.
Earlier this month, Albert was the only player on the Chiefs' 65-man roster to skip the first day of voluntary team workouts on April 1. A day later, Albert told NFL AM that he is just seeking clarity from the Chiefs.
“Ever since the end of the season I've been in limbo,” Albert said. “I want a definitive answer on what's going to happen with me.”
The Lions, Cardinals, Jaguars and Chargers are among the teams that could pursue a tackle with a second-round pick.
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