The 2013 NFL free agency period opens on March 12 and the rumors surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs have been coming fast and furious. We don't yet have a firm grasp on what will happen but there is one theory regarding Branden Albert and Dwayne Bowe that's emerging, which Evan Silva of Rotoworld lays out in his free agency predictions piece.
Free agency hasn't started yet so the Kansas City Chiefs plans surrounding Branden Albert and Dwayne Bowe are fluid but the popular predictions at this moment in time would say Albert will walk and Bowe will be hit with the franchise tag.
Silva has Bowe ranked as his No. 6 overall free agent on the market.
All signs out of Indianapolis point to Bowe getting a second straight franchise tag. Teams such as the Bills and Vikings would love to get their hands on a receiver like Bowe, but it's not happening. Look for the Chiefs to let Branden Albert walk, tag Bowe, and target a long-term extension worth roughly $11 million annually down the road. Alex Smith is going to be Kansas City's quarterback, and an offensive tackle figures to be the No. 1 pick.
The franchise tag for Bowe seems like a good bet based on reports that have come out recently. Where this thing would get really interesting is if the Chiefs wrapped up a longterm deal for one of these guys before the March 4 deadline for using the franchise tag. Then the possibility of the Chiefs bringing both back would seem more possible than it is now.
As for Albert, he is Silva's 14th ranked free agent.
At the Scouting Combine, coach Andy Reid greased the skids for Albert's departure by calling a 2012 back issue that only cost him three games "a fairly significant injury." Significant or not, the comments were telling. Bears GM Phil Emery's team is needy at tackle, and Albert was drafted by the Chiefs in Emery's first year as Kansas City's college scouting director.
Albert leaving the Chiefs and joining the Bears makes some sense, which Silva predicts. Assuming the Chiefs let Albert hit the market which, as we know, isn't certain right now.
The Chiefs would then use the top overall pick on Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, who would replace Albert at left tackle. The end result would be the Chiefs using the top pick to basically replace Albert. But it could come at roughly half the cost so, assuming the Chiefs plan to actually use the money that they would save, I can see some of the logic behind it. I may not agree with it but I can see where the Chiefs would be coming from.
Silva has the top 50 free agents ranked here. Check it out. It's a great read.