The on-again, off-again talks between the Dolphins and the Branden Albert camp are on-again and they are quite hot right now, a club source is telling me this morning.
On Tuesday I sent out multiple texts to club sources and, as expected, got the silent treatment across the board. (I'v been told by sources that when I don't get responses, that usually means something is happening). But this morning I got one response and this team source tells me the Dolphins remain interested in Albert, are talking with Albert's camp, want to give him a physical, and will be talking to the Chiefs about him in the coming hours or days.
So this possible trade for the Kansas City Chiefs left tackle -- derailed recently by the Chiefs' wanting high draft compensation for him, the Dolphins declining to make a significant and tangible offer, and the Albert contract demands -- is back on track.
There are still hurdles apparently so it is too early to say this will definitely happen. But my sense is we're getting to that point where all the parties want answers and the answer is going to be get it done. The NFL draft begins tomorrow at 8 p.m.
I cannot say with certainty, but my speculation is the Dolphins would like to know by that time what Albert's health status is. That means they'd probably like to get him a physical by then. It's possible the Chiefs won't allow a physical before a trade is agreed to and make the trade contingent on that physical -- as is custom in most trades. So already you have different agendas at work.
It remains interesting to me that the draft-choice or player compensation to the Chiefs is more of a sticking point for the Dolphins than the contract with the player.
It boggles because the Albert camp wants significant money. Reports have been that Albert, who is currently signed to a $9.8 million franchise tender, wants to average $9 million per season and he wants it structured so that he's protected from being cut after just one year. The $9 million is elite left tackle money and one can argue that Albert is a good player but not an elite player.
The Dolphins, which have approximately $9 million in salary cap space now but get another $10 million after June 1 (from the release of Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett), have the necessary cap room to sign Albert and eventually sign their draft picks.