Branden Albert contract mediation

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

A cheat sheet for John Dorsey and Branden Albert's Agent.

Good morning, Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Branden Albert's Agent (my what a strange name you have, sir). I'm so glad we could get together and talk today. This is all about agreement and coming to a reasonable conclusion that makes sense for both parties.

Put your hand down, Mr. Agent. This is a time to listen, not speak. I understand you're very eager to represent your client, but right now I have the floor. That goes for you too, Mr. Dorsey. And will you please tell Mr. Reid to stop hovering outside the door? He can come in if he'd like. I don't know how he thought he could sneak around out there with such a loud shirt on.

We all know why we're here today. We're all familiar with the situation. It's time to get down to business. Branden wants a long term deal, and the Chiefs want to have the best roster possible. Those two desires can definitely be found if everyone listens to me and does exactly as I say.

Again, Mr. Agent, you have to be quiet. No, I don't care how big your client looked in that car. That has no bearing on this discussion, regardless of how awesome the picture was. If you talk out of turn again I'm going to have Mr. Reid sit on you.

I'll first address you, Mr. Reid and Mr. Dorsey. You want Branden Albert on your team. Let's not try and be coy. He's in the prime of his career and has been a very solid player for years now. He's also a fan favorite who is popular in the locker room. No, we're not going to talk about Tweets and "come to Jesus" comments. We're done with the past. Branden has made it clear that what is important to him is long-term security. And you've made it clear that having the "five best offensive linemen" is a top priority for you. Branden is, as of right now, your best and most proven offensive lineman. Having him around long term makes the team better.

You're concerned about the financial issues, you say? Well, let's talk money. First of all, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to get Branden signed for a reasonable amount, and... All right, Mr. Agent, you were warned about speaking out of turn. Mr. Reid, please sit on Mr. Agent until he passes out. Remember, if he turns blue you need to get off and let him breathe. We can always record this and play it back to him when he wakes up.

Anyway, where were we? Right, team financials. Mr. Dorsey, you don't need to cripple the team financially in order to sign Branden long term. What has Branden made clear is important to him? Commitment. So, commit. Branden currently has 10 million dollars on the table for a period of one year. So do the flashy thing and double that. Yes, double it! In fact, throw an extra million for good measure. Calm down, Mr. Dorsey, and let me explain the rest of the contract to you.

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

You will offer Branden a contract that lasts for 5 years. That contract will be worth $40 million dollars. You will give him $21 million dollars guaranteed, with $5 million as a roster bonus for 2015. By doing it this way, you will accomplish several things. First, you will spread out the cap hit and grant some relief for this year. Next, you will be signing him at a very affordable $8 million dollars per year average. Third, you will set yourself up to be free and clear of Branden's dead money by the time Eric Fisher's contract is up for renegotiation. Finally (and most obviously), you will lock up a talented offensive lineman for a long term deal without crippling yourself financially, and with a potential window for exit within three years if things don't go well.

Ah, I see Mr. Agent is beginning to regain consciousness. Now that you're up, Mr. Agent, go ahead and listen to the preceding offer...

(waits)

Calm down, Mr. Agent. I don't need to hear about how unreasonable $8 million dollars a year is. Allow me to make several points regarding that contract.

First, this contract will more than double the amount of money your client can count on receiving. Before protesting, perhaps you should text your client and ask whether or not he likes the idea of doubling his money. What's that, you say? He does? Great, let's move on.

Next, this contract reflects the current market for your client's services. Please note that we live in a different NFL than that which existed several years ago. Teams no longer have to pay ridiculous sums for talented rookie offensive tackles. They can now draft them and pay them around $5 million dollars a year at MOST. So you see, once your client enters free agency he won't be competing only with veteran offensive tackles. He'll be competing with suddenly VERY cheap, young talent. Yes, I know the veteran players didn't consider this potential ramification of the new CBA. That's a shame for them, but it is what it is.

Please look no further than the contracts offered to various offensive linemen during this recent offseason. Andre Smith, considered by many to be the finest right tackle in the league, signed for a mere $5 million dollars guaranteed (and $6 million a year). Jake Long, a notably excellent left tackle, signed for a great deal more at $20 million dollars guaranteed. Please note that this is less than what your client would receive. Do you need more proof? Your client has expressed a great deal of admiration for Eric Winston. Please not that Mr. Winston is currently unsigned.

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The market has changed from what it was five years ago. No longer are teams forced to choose between paying a veteran $12 million dollars a year or a top rookie $11 million dollars a year. The contract being offered reflects the market value of your client, and is more than generous. It provides him the long-term stability he has gone on record saying he wants. Reject this offer and you are effectively wagering $11 million dollars of your client's money on getting a superior offer next season. When he is one year older. And there are multiple free agent tackles hitting the market. And a very, very good class of rookie tackles.

You have nothing left to say? How about you, Mr. Dorsey? Mr. Reid? Great. I'm glad we could get this worked out today, and I look forward to seeing Mr. Albert take the field as a long-term Chief.

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