1. Arrowhead Pride: What are the Dolphins left tackle options currently? In other words, how desperate are you for Branden Albert?
The Phinsider: The Dolphins will most likely move Jonathan Martin from right tackle to his college position of left tackle to replace Jake Long. The main concern with Martin is really his strength, which he should be working on this offseason and come into camp ready to go.
However, the Dolphins are clearly still searching for tackle help, either right or left. The most likely answer is for the team to sign Eric Winston to the right tackle position, but Winston seems to be looking for more money than Miami is willing to pay right now. I still think the two sides could come together, but it's not a guarantee.
The Dolphins are clearly going to have to address the offensive line at some point, either in a free agency signing, a trade, or the draft.
There are other options available for the Dolphins, including starting the re-signed Nate Garner at right tackle, moving John Jerry from right guard to right tackle, a position he has played before, and either putting Garner in at right guard or finding a new guard.
The team also has a wildcard in third year tackle Will Yeatman. As a rookie, Yeatman was a reserve tight end for the Dolphins. Last year, head coach Joe Philbin transitioned Yeatman to the tackle spot, though he only played a handful of snaps on offense. Philbin has had success with that move before, including former NFL guard Eric Steinbach who Philbin converted from tight end at Iowa.
The Dolphins are clearly going to have to address the offensive line at some point, either in a free agency signing, a trade, or the draft. What they end up doing is still unclear, but it's definitely a position of need for Miami at this point.
2. The Phinsider: This year, the near-consensus number one overall pick in April's draft is Texas A&M's tackle Luke Joeckel. Yet, Kansas City placed the franchise tag on Branden Albert. Was this a move to try to trade him so the team gets something in return for him, or is Albert actually in the team's future plans, but they would consider an overwhelming trade offer if it came along?
Arrowhead Pride: Ask a Chiefs fan what the tag means for Albert and you may get a few different answers. As recently as the beginning of March, I would've told you that the franchise tag for Albert meant the Chiefs were going to work out a long-term deal with him. In the short time Andy Reid and John Dorsey have been in Kansas City, they've identified the players they want and went out and got them ... and they were willing to overpay a little bit to do that (see: Alex Smith trade and Anthony Fasano's four-year, $16 million deal).
But since then we've seen a lot of smoke coming out around a possible Albert trade. It's to the point where folks are publicly talking about what the Chiefs are seeking for in a trade. And it's also been reported that the Chiefs are the ones looking for suitors. So now I'm of the mind that a deal will actually get done, Albert will be traded, and the Chiefs will select Luke Joeckel with the No. 1 pick. Given the situation the Chiefs are in right now, I think trading Albert and drafting Joeckel is probably the best move for the long-term, but given that the Chiefs could've had both Winston and Albert this season, it seems like they have (or will) made some unnecessary moves at tackle.
3. Arrowhead Pride: Are you comfortable giving up a second round pick and, let's say, a fifth round pick in 2014 for Albert? And how confident are you that your team would dole out the dollars he would need in a new long-term deal?
The Phinsider: I don't like the idea of having to give up two draft picks, plus a large contract, for Albert. Miami has been very protective of their 11 draft picks this year, and seeing a second round pick, plus that fifth round pick in 2014, and a high dollar contract does not make much sense, especially when Miami could simply use on of their two second round picks on a tackle, fill the hole, and not have the monetary requirements needed to sign Albert long term. Miami would not give Jake Long the $8.5 million per season to which St. Louis agreed, so spending top dollar on Albert is not likely.
I think sticking to free agency, trying to add Eric Winston, or possibly Andre Smith or Bryant McKinnie, makes more sense for the Dolphins right now. But, as the tackle market starts to shrink, the idea of trading for Albert will become more appealing, assuming no one lands in Miami.
4. The Phinsider: You suggest a 2013 second rounder and a 2014 fifth round selection as the possible asking price for Albert. How firm do you think that would be? Is the second round pick this year a lock, and the additional pick the negotiating point, or will the Chiefs be willing to consider other options? What do you think the final price will be, if Albert moves?
Arrowhead Pride: The minimum on the price for Albert, I think, will be a second round pick. The Chiefs reportedly wanted a 2013 second round pick, which would recoup the one they lost in the Alex Smith trade, and an additional pick in 2014. That additional pick is the negotiating point. I don't think the Chiefs would stick to that. If someone offered them a second round pick, after some negotiating, they would do it.