NFL free agency 2014: Branden Albert bidding war shaping up

Peter G. Aiken Getty Images Sport

The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to lose OT Branden Albert in free agency. The Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals are shaping up to be the top bidders.

If you're still of the mind that the Kansas City Chiefs can re-sign Branden Albert, then this post isn't for you. If you've moved on and recognized that Albert is going to leave via free agency, then it's kinda fun to watch all the potential money being thrown at him.

The 2014 NFL free agency period has yet to start but the early negotiation period has and Albert reportedly has two big suitors -- the Dolphins and Cardinals. Both appear to have Albert at the top of their wish list.

Weeks ago before free agency even started it was rumored the Cardinals would be interested in Albert. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says they're placing a "high priority" on Albert. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic confirms Albert is the Cardinals No. 1 target.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are the team who talked an Albert trade last year. Surely they're interested again. NFL Network says they are and the Miami Herald claims the Dolphins are the front-runner for Albert's services.

One NFL source not affiliated with Albert called Miami the clear front-runner for Albert. But it's still early in the process, and there's certainly a chance Miami could be outbid. We'll see.

The Chiefs "haven't ruled out re-signing Albert", according to NFL Network. Given the Chiefs cap situation, the drafting of Eric Fisher and the emergence of Donald Stephenson, it's pretty obvious that Albert is gone, as much as I would love for the team to re-sign him and enter the season with three capable offensive tackles.

I haven't heard any other teams mentioned with Albert. He's going to be paid at the top of the market and there are only so many teams that can afford that, especially in what appears to be a strong market. It's a different position but last year the top cornerbacks were signing for $6-7 million per year. This year, that looks like $10 million per year. We'll see if that translates to offensive tackles.

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