I've been told recently by somebody you communicate with that you do peruse the Chiefs blogosphere periodically. That you do pay attention to what's said here, and you are interested in what fans have to say about the team and yourself, personally. Your remarks in a recent interview lead us to believe that you're also good friends with Donald Stephenson, that you love KC, and that you believe you are a left tackle's left tackle.
Let me just put this out there: we here in the Chiefs blogosphere, we're the good guys.
We've been in your corner since 2008, not all of us loving your initial selection but all of us fully appreciating how well you've held down that left edge for the parade of garbage QBs you've had to protect, from Brody Croyle to Damon Huard to Tyler Thigpen to Tyler Palko to Brady Quinn and yes, Matt Cassel (who I know you have to be a professional and stand behind, but we totally know better, brother). All the while, every other NFL site was littered with observers who've wanted to draft a new LT and move you somewhere else.
In 2010, it was draft Russell Okung, move Albert inside! In 2011, the other Chiefs sites were rooting for Bryan Bulaga -- move Albert to right tackle! In 2012 there was some movement for Riley Reiff? What!? I guess you were supposed to become a blocking tight end at that point, I have no idea.
The point is, not us. Never. The Chiefs blogosphere overwhelmingly stood behind you at LT for going on five years now. C'mon, you check this place. You know the love here is strong.
I bring this up, because we here in this blogosphere need you to pull a solid for us: we need you to sign long-term. Like, really soon. Like within the next few weeks soon. This may be asking too much, but we have no other options at this point: when you close this internet browser, you need to pick up the phone and tell your dude to get this deal done. Meet halfway, give them something if they give you something, agree to some escalators or whatever, he's the smart guy and I'm just an idiot. But the sentiment stands, let's lock this up.
We want this locked up for several reasons. The first of which: we like you. We like you a lot. You're nimble enough in space to negate most passrushers but you shred folks like a wild grizzly in the run game. Not a lot of left tackles can do both, and basically none of them do it as well as you do. (And certainly neither of the dudes atop this particular draft class don't.) So if nothing else, understand that there's been no more ardent supporters of Branden Albert, and that the rest of this fanbase has caught up with us.
The second reason: we have the 1st overall pick this year! And we are totally elated to have it, because it never happens to Kansas City. This is legitimately a opportunity for you to play on a perennial playoff team (as well as us to root for one). And the way things have fallen, you oddly have a key responsibility in that: if you sign a long-term deal to remain the Chiefs' left tackle, the Chiefs won't have to burn a 1st overall selection on either Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan's Eric Fisher trying to keep the offense in the same spot, and can instead focus on bringing in a dynamic player that will make the team better.
The suspicion of many on this board is that West Virginia QB Geno Smith is on Andy Reid's radar -- think of how refreshing it would be to block for two #1 overall picks over the course of your next contract (Geno and Alex Smith). You signing makes all of this possible. If you do not sign, it becomes less possible, maybe even impossible. You are our hail mary to stave off Luke Joeckel. God, Branden, can you believe they want to draft a right tackle with the #1 overall? That's what they want to do. WHAT!?
Not if you're the man, though. And we'll all mark the day you signed as the day those fears were put to rest, and this team's climb to championship-level success began.
If you do not sign, Reid will go with Joeckel or Fisher. Donald Stephenson will not even get a fair shot at right tackle, when we both know he deserves to man the spot. And you'll play all year under the freaking franchise tag, which we all totally hate around here, only to face this same stupid drama all over again next year.
If you do sign, you will be basking in KC barbeque for the rest of your career with a team loaded with talent under nobody other than Andy Reid. Stephenson almost certainly gets a chance to man the right spot, and the Chiefs are freed up to take the best QB this draft has to offer, which hopefully they'll choose to do.
It's on you, man. We want you here. You hopefully want to stay here. It's a match. And we can do this whole year-long dance under the franchise tag where we find a way to talk ourselves out of it, or we can get to the dotted line and keep what's working. And what's more, the sensible move here is the one that immediately escalates this team's chances at competing on a championship level.
You're pretty close to our last hope for that this offseason. Get on the phone, man.
Just get on the phone.