Just a few hours after Peter King of SI.com reported that the Kansas City Chiefs would listen to trade offers for left tackle Branden Albert, it's being reported that Albert soon plans to sign his franchise tender, which will pay him approximately $9.8 million in 2013.
Chiefs OT Branden Albert has accepted his franchise tender. Will sign it soon. $9.828 million for this season. Smart move.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 18, 2013
As @mikegarafolo reported, Branden Albert notified the Chiefs today that he'll accept his franchise tender, and plans to sign it tomorrow.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 18, 2013
Garafolo has been the reporter of choice for Albert news so I trust that this is accurate.
So what does this mean?
At a minimum, it means that Albert will be under contract next season. Bowe waited until the preseason to sign his tender, which meant he couldn't be disciplined for missing the offseason program or training camp. That won't happen with Albert. He will be present at the Chiefs offseason program. Unless of course....
There's also Peter King's report, which stated that if other teams were interested in trading for Albert, the Chiefs would listen. (Of course they would.) Albert couldn't be traded until he's under contract. And he can't be under contract until he signs his franchise tender. So there's that.
Albert and the Chiefs will have until mid-July to work out a long-term agreement. If they can not do so by then, Albert will be forced to play out the 2013 season under his one-year franchise tender, and then face the same free agent situation in 2013.
So this news is a "Welcome back" to Albert. We think.
Update: ESPN's John Clayton says...
Updating from owners meetings, I think the Dolphins could offer a No. 2 pick to KC to land LT Branden Albert. They have 2 No. 2s— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) March 18, 2013