The deadline to sign a franchise tagged player to a multi-year deal is fast approaching, which doesn’t leave the Chiefs much time to reach an agreement with tackle Branden Albert.
Bill Williamson of ESPN.com reports that the team and Albert are expected to talk about a long-term deal next week. The deadline for a deal is July 15 and the sides will have to hold off on any future talks until after the 2013 season if they are unable to reach an agreement.
If they did reach an agreement, it would qualify as something of a surprise given how the offseason has played out for the Chiefs. They initially tried to trade Albert before the draft with the Dolphins playing the role of likeliest trading partner, but the deal never happened and the Chiefs went ahead and drafted tackle Eric Fisher with the first overall pick anyway. Fisher will play right tackle in 2013, but many believe he’s eventually ticketed to the left side of the line and Albert’s salary demands might be higher than the Chiefs are willing to pay for a player who will wind up as a right tackle.
As we just mentioned, though, the Chiefs have changed plans in midstream already with Albert so you probably can’t rule out a deal until the deadline passes. If it does, Albert will make just over $9.8 million in 2013.