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Dolphins move on Albert should depend on details

Sometimes the devil is in the details and that's where the Dolphins are with Branden Albert.

As multiple media sources reported Wednesday, and as I reported on this blog on March 22, the Dolphins are considering making a trade for the Kansas City Chiefs franchise player.

[Update: John Clayton of ESPN is reporting the Dolphins have been given permission to speak with Albert and he'll visit the Dolphins and take a physical soon. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald is reporting the sides are talking contract.]

On its face, the idea makes sense.

The Dolphins lost left tackle Jake Long to St. Louis in free agency. The club has a need and coach Joe Philbin didn't exactly endorse the idea of Jonathan Martin as his starting left tackle when he discussed the issue last month. The Dolphins also had a price point for Long and they have not used the cap space that was intended for Long on anyone else.

So the team can afford to sign Branden Albert and believes Albert to be a left tackle upgrade over Martin.

But ...

The devil is in the details.

The only way this trade makes sense is if the Dolphins do it in conjunction with another trade and only after Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel comes off the board on draft day. That's right, this trade only makes sense if Joeckel isn't available because if he is on draft day, the Dolphins look like fools.

Consider:

If Joeckel goes No. 1 overall to Kansas City, then the Dolphins can be certain the best LT in the draft is gone and they move on. But if KC picks Eric Fisher and Joekel drops to No. 3 or No. 4, the Dolphins must, must, must try to trade up to get him. That move would be expensive in that it would require a second-round pick and other considerations. But it makes more sense than the Albert trade because that also will require a second-round pick plus a more expensive contract than Joeckel.

And Joeckel, unproven in the NFL as he is, is probably going to be a better player than Albert.

So the Dolphins would be going for a better player (Joeckel) using basically the same draft pick compensation (well, maybe more expensive but only slightly) and pay a lower contract in the transaction.

So if the Dolphins don't wait for draft day to make this Albert trade, they're not really thinking through all the contingencies. And if Joeckel then falls, the Dolphins will look downright foolish.

Then there is this:

Even if Joeckel goes No. 1 overall as expected, the Dolphins can simply trade a No. 2 for Albert, but they would still look kind of silly. You see, why pay a high draft pick and a big contract to Branden Albert when you could have had Jake Long for the big contract and kept the pick?

You mean to say the Dolphins played hardball with Long only to cave on Albert?

I understand Long is seemingly diminished and often injured. Trust me, I made the point here many times. But Albert comes with no guarantees, either. He basically had a very good season in 2012. But it was only good enough for the Chiefs to want to trade him. He's been injured during his career. He's struggled with weight issues. He was a turnstile in 2009, giving up nine sacks.

And, again, the Chiefs are willing to let him go so they can draft a rookie to play the same position.

So it's not like Branden Albert is a slam dunk worth-it move.

This is where the devil has to be in the details.

If the Dolphins pay Albert as much as Long got in St. Louis, they look dumb. If the Dolphins get Albert for much cheaper, they still have a find a way to recover that second-round pick they still gave up for him.

And how do they do that?

Well, here is my perfect scenario that would prevent me from thinking the Dolphins got ripped off on getting Branden Albert. If the Dolphins trade away their lower of two second-round picks for Albert and then trade down from No. 12 overall to a lower pick in the first round while then pickinng up a second-rounder for the move, I'll be straight. I'll be good.

The haul would then be a lower first, Albert (albeit at a big contract) and two second rounders for all those moves.

The trade down would mitigate the sting of giving up a second for Albert because it recovers a second-rounder for the trade down.

By the way, if the Dolphins somehow end up giving Albert more money than Long got from St. Louis, something is significantly amiss because even with his multiple injury issues, Long was still a better player than Albert when healthy.

All this has to play out.

The devil will be in the details.

 

needs to be part of another draft-day trade down

Comments

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Oh now, Armando will be mad at the Dolphins, I'm sure Ireland is shivering in his undies ! As for trading up, why don't you buy a clue and a draft value chart, it'd cost tons more then a #2. Miami would be dumb to give up multiples picks for a OT !!!

Good point... Must wait this out, unless you're talking about a 3rd rounder for albert. Then things get interesting. However, if the Cheifs let him walk now for a 3rd then they may be forced further back on draft day. Dolphins hold the cards here. They will likely wait it out, and make Reid sweat out some pounds.

Just say no! Keep the picks, draft Brennan Williams & David Quessenberry in the 3rd.

albert who? it's better to trade up for fisher or Joeckel than take albert.even if it cost a 2&3 rounds picks

Mando, You're over thinking it.

Why should the dolphins trade up for Joeckel but not Fisher? Are you saying the Dolphins should use there 1st rd pick on a LT? even if it costs a 2nd rd pick?

Trading for Albert and trading up for Jeockel are not equivalent as you suggest above, Jeockel will also cost the 1st rd pick but Albert only one 2nd rd pick.

The1st rd trade back scenario Doesn't solve the problem either since this is something the dolphins can do anyway and end up with 1st rd pick and 3 2nd rd picks.

If Albert is younger, healthier and cheaper than Long then go for it. Otherwise draft a LT in the 2nd rd or pay Winston.

Jeff don't do it. We don't want Albert, draft a LT we have 11 picks sure can find someone in 2nd if not first.

Just when you thought of Jeffrey boy was turning the corner and was doing right, this a** clown is either going trade up for a fat a** lineman or trade for a damaged goods fat a** lineman. For that you idiot you should've kept and paid the damaged goods fat a** lineman you chosed #1 overall over M.Ryan a quote from B.Pollian "you don't draft offensive lineman im the top 20 in any draft, they don't sell tickets or put points on the board, Qb-Wr-Rb or impact the game on defense pass rushers or db's who intercepts the ball" AMEN AMEN AMEN to you Mr.Polian !! Go ah ead and trade up and get another fat a** lineman, go ahead and trade for a mediocre at best damaged goods fat a** offensive lineman and Jeffrey Ireland will be fired right after New Years with another mediocre z 6-10-7-9 irrelevant boring football team !!

Wouldn't the Chiefs simply cut Albert in June if they pick up one of those LT's in the draft? And....I guess the coaches are unimpressed with Martin's strength and conditioning program.

Given that the second round in the Parcells/Ireland era has yielded Philip Merling, Chad Henne, Sean Smith, Pat White, Koa Misi, Daniel Thomas, and Jonathan Martin, I'm not exactly fretting over losing out on a potential stud in the second round. However, the pick would be nice ammunition if they were to trade up in the first round where the actual value is.

Trading a 2 for Albert and keeping your first round pick is not the same as giving up your 2nd round pick for the right to move up in the first round. You get 3 players if you trade the pick for Albert (Albert and your 1st round pick and other 2nd round pick) while only getting 2 if you trade the pick to move up. Joekle has no shot at slipping past 4, so the phins would have to give up a lot more than a 2 to move up. Based on the chart, to move to 6 they would have to give up their 2nd 2. This draft is deep and it's a huge advantage to have multiple picks through the first 3 rounds and we have plenty of needs....if anything, we should try and use the ammo to trade up in the 2nd or third or even to trade up in the back end of the first round where trading up is much cheaper....apparently the fins don't like Martin as a left tackle or they would have signed clank or Winston and paid them the money and would keep all their picks....maybe I would try to trade up to 10 and take cooper if I thought he was the bomb at right guard....or trade up in round two to get Pugh....otherwise....draft the best players...I just remember drafting Vernon carry out of need instead of taking wolfolk....see how that turned out

Ireland you have 5 picks In the top 82, trade down a little matter of fact Atlanta is desperately trying to get up to picks 11-15 !! According to the draft board, Atlanta have to give up a 1-2-3 this year and their #1 next year. They want some guy name Mingo real bad that type of trade I would definitely make if I was J.Ireland in a heartbeat are you kidding me !! And draft playmakers playmakers playmakers all across the board playmakers damn it playmakers !!

Nobody has said that the deal is done, have They? As a matter of fact, the Dolphins FO has not pronounced themselves to be either for it or against it, have They?

In most cases first round picks should be playmakers.Not tackles,guards or linebackers.That means we should be looking at defensive ends,wide receivers,or tight ends since we are set at the quarterback position.

too much money for albert. dolphins money isn't ireland money

GOOD MORNING DOLPHIN LAND! I'M NOT REALLY SOLD ON THE CHIEFS LT BRANDEN ALBERT TRADE. I WOULD WAIT UNTIL DRAFT DAY AND LET THE CHIEFS DECIDE ON WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. THEY HAVE JACKASS WRITTEN ALL OVER THEIR FACE. THEY TAGGED A PLAYER WITH A NINE MILLION DOLLAR PRICE TAG AND THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH HIM. THEY'RE GETTING READY TO OVERLOAD [CONSTIPATE] THEMSELVES AND NEED SOMETHING AND SOMEONE TO RELIEVE THEM. I'LL PLAY IT OUT UNTIL AFTER THE DRAFT. AND I DO MEAN PLAY IT OUT! HE'S A COMPLEMENTARY ASSET OR LIABILITY TO OUR TEAM. NO SECOND ROUND PICK AT ALL. THIRD ROUND DRAFT PICK IS A REASONABLE PRICE TAG. WE'LL TAMPER WITH THEM FOR A WHILE JUST LIKE THEY TAMPERED WITH OUR OLD TRASH [CB SEAN SMITH].

Giving up a 2nd round pick and paying Albert 8 million doesn't make sense to me, Armando trying to explain what's going on makes even less sense.

Only valid explanation is a smoke screen so everyone is confused at to what your really up to.

If it is valid then Ireland truly did pigeonhole himself with regard to the left tackle and is now paying the ultimate price.

I guess we have to let this play out, also.

DOUG,
VALID THOUGHT INDEED. "SMOKESCREEN!"

Are We strong enough to resist? There are several possibilities...

Disappointed in you Mando. Why no scenario that the Fins trade for Albert for LESS than a 2? NOBODY is talking about that. If I am Jeff I work my way down to a 3 or 4 or if I cough up a 2 I get KC's 4th in return.

If I have to give up a big contract, KC is not getting a primo pick. In the end, if this deal goes down, I bet is not for a 2 and KC knows this as the draft gets closer.

It is obvious we hold the power here. The Chiefs have to make a deal or it changes their whole draft. Let them draft another LT which they don't need. I'm certainly against the trade for Albert unless you can get him for a 3rd rounder or maybe a 4th. I'd rather sign Winston for much less money.

PFF has graded Albert as better than Long each of the last two seasons.

No tackle in the draft is worth a 1st and 2nd.
Albert is not worth a 2nd.

Ireland will neither trade his first and second to move up. He will also not trade a 2nd for Albert.

All indications are that this staff is a far better coaching staff than the previous one.

Because of this, they will either stay pat at 12 or trade down and pick up and develop more young players at positions of need (either immediate or in the near future) based on their talent and potential.

Contrary to popular opinion, especially pre-draft opinion, a serviceable tackle can be found in the 2nd and 3rd rounds if not in free agency after the next round of roster cuts.

Heres my thought- if the Dolphins trade a #2 for Albert, Ireland might have a preliminary deal to trade down with STL or ATL or Minn or one of those teams looking to trade up and gain back the #2 in the process. Maybe something like this-if Tavon Austin is available at your spot, we will trade you a #2 and swap first rounders to move up. That would be my guess if he pursues this deal to give up a #2. As Armando mentioned, I can absolutely live with recouping the #2. I want them to keep those 5 picks in the top 100.

Its also my belief that the NFL teams kind of have an idea behind the scenes who each team is going to select or has targeted. If you think about it, when deals are made to trade up and down the board, they tend to happen fast. 15 minutes between picks in the first round seems like a long time but it really isn't. There is no time to haggle over pick compensations and swaps, etc. When ATL traded up for Julio Jones a few years ago, AS soon as Cleveland was announced on the clock, that trade was almost instantaneous. Those two teams had to talk before the draft if that scenario arose and when it did, ATL pulled the trigger.

Of course they do, Frank. Nobody here is a miracle worker.

Let's see how Mr. Ireland plays this round of GM poker. He already has resisted giving up the second rounder and is wise to do so. He can be very stubborn about these things but it's a good trait for a GM. This just makes the draft all that much more interesting. I'm sure the Phins have gone through every scenario a few times to get an LT out of the draft. There is a plan A and B and maybe a C....we just don't know what it is in this hand of high stakes GM poker.

Don't trade any picks, just pick good players if you know how to do that is, and this is the Ireland question mark? Why give up second round picks instead find talented players in those spots

Well, like I said last night, I read somewhere that Albert was ranked the 25th best OT in the NFL last year...25th...So in that case, why would we:

a) Give up a 2nd round pick for him
b) Sign him to a long term contract

Makes no sense. I don't get it.

Armando,

It does seem that giving Long a big contract and keeping a 2nd round pick would have been the better option. However I think it got personal with Long and Ireland. Long will be playing for the Rams. They lost to the Dolphins last season and have not had the off season gains with talent that the Dolphins have. So Long continues to play for a loser with a little more security and money. He had already been overpaid for five years. The Dolphins should not overpay for Albert either. Use the Draft to work out a deal to get a LT from the draft and move on.

DO NOT DO THIS JEFF!!!!!!!!!!

FOR ONCE I TOTALLY AGREE WITH ARMANDO!!!!!!!!!

DO NOT DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You people are morons , total idiots we do need a left tackle therefore we must turn over all stones to try and get one weather it's by trade or by trying to draft one

Playmakers=championship contenders Period Period !!

#1 Dolphin fan- I agree to an extent. The team balks at paying $8 million for Long but will pay it for Albert. Albert missed 4 games last year with back spasms so its not like he is not injury prone.

If this deal is being discussed however, Ireland must not think he can acquire the talent he needs to fill the Tackle spot through the draft or otherwise. Albert fills a huge need! I would rather them trade one #2 pick for Albert than a #2 and other picks to trade up and select Johnson or Fisher. I still want this team built through the draft.

I have said this on other blogs- If I were GM, I would stay put at #12 and draft BPA, sign Winston or Clabo for RT, move MArtin to LT full-time, and keep all my picks and build this team the right way.

We are playing high stakes poker

I thought Lane Johnson was the rising star at LT in this draft?
Faster, stronger & more upside was what I heard?

....and you only have to drop 2-4 spots to get him vs. #2 for Joeckel or #4 for Fisher?

Has anyone thought about this whole "lets trade for Albert" is nothing more than a smokescreen?

It seems like most fans and our front office don't believe Martin is the answer at LT...And he played what, 4 games last year at that position? Wow...Talk about a 2nd round pick being wasted again...Amazing how fast everybody gave up on this guy...

If I were GM. First off I'd back away from this deal. I'd give Martin a chance at LT, sign a veteran and draft an OT in the second or third.

Second if I felt the need to make this deal. I'd stand pat until the draft and watch the Chiefs select a LT with the first pick...then watch the asking price for Albert fall. It would be dumb to pull the trigger now. Let the Chiefs show their hand first. They need this deal much much more than we do. We hold the power so why bid against ourselves??

There is a spot on the O-line for Martin...just not the LT position.
I believe Joe Philbin has earned the trust of Ireland unlike Sparano ever did. If Joe say's get me a new LT, Ireland jumps.
Joe knows this great game better than most and if he's found a guy who fits his zone blocking scheme the best...then we must trust in our beloved coach.

I think Albert is the smokescreen. I think Ireland has something else in mind. We'll find out soon enough.

...mornin' all...this LT situation has me stumped....rethinking it....will have to chew it over.

bbl...

I agree with what someone else said, this is a smokescreen. It's an idiotic idea. Miami has the #12 pick in a deep draft for linemen. We've gotten our FAs, now let's grow through the Draft. We have loads of picks, and typically only a few pan out, so stockpiling more is a bad option IMO.

If anything, I try to move UP and get Fisher, or stay where you are, pick up Warmack, move Jerry to LT (to battle Martin) and the loser plays RT.

Albert was so great his QB got killed last year and they had the worst team in the NFL. And then paying him Jake Long money? No thank you.

Paging Mr. Ireland...I have ask. Who else is in the bidding for Albert? That's right no one. So why give in to the Chiefs demands? Let them eat that 10 mil and move Albert to RT which he doesn't want. Hell they ought to give us a draft pick for solving their biggest problem. There are still options and a lot of time before training camp in 3 months. No need to panic yet.

BA is not worth the $ or that high a pick. Why Miami appears to have fallen in love with him is a puzzle to me. JL was a far superior talent who could have been kept for about the same $, no?

Great Article Mando, well thought out and well written. Im backing Ireland on this - he is very stubborn

For the last several weeks I have been pushing for the Albert trade. Top reasons it makes sense:

- Martin is not solid at LT and should remain at RT
- Waiting to draft day to see if you could find a LT creates risk Chiefs trade Albert to someone else. If we don't land a starting LT in the draft and don't get Albert the team is then working in a desperate way and nothing good comes of that.
- It costs the Fins our first ,second and likely third picks to move up to get one of the top three ROOKIE LT's. That is a lot to pay for one ROOKIE.
- Nobody is saying Albert will make the level of money Long will made. There are only 4-6 LT's making more than $7m per year (look it up). He will not make $8m per regardless of which team he plays on. Yes he made that from the Chiefs as a RFA but that is only for one year. As he signs a new long term deal it won't be for $8m per.
- It's possible that they will not pay a 2nd round pick. They may be able to get him for a 3rd. If they do give up a 2nd it's not overpaying. A top 10-12 LT for a 2nd round pick is value.
- He is 29 and he is not really injury prone. He missed 4 games. He was solid last year even with those 4 missed games. He was not on the 'decline.' He was solid every year before. He will likely play for 4-6 more years and that is fine.
- Keeping the first pick in the draft is critical. It does allow for trade down options that may get another 2nd or 3rd round pick. The total draft cost of the Albert trade can be mitigated.
- Regardless of their ability to trade down, keeping the first round pick allows the Fins to add another starter at either G, TE, S, DE. Or add depth at DT, WR, RB.

MAKE THE TRADE!

What's the rush to make the trade? Why now? Who's in the driver's seat, Miami or KC? How come nobody else has traded with KC for Albert? Answer: he's not worth the money you're going to have to pay him and why give up the pick? Let KC sweat it out and maybe they do something stupid. The priority should be to address it in the draft. We have 11 picks. Figure it out. If that means we have to trade up, then so be it. There's no guarantee we're going to get someone we want with some of those later picks, so get a guy who can help. If that's Fisher or Johnson, then great. Let's solve the problem, rather than taking a question mark in the second or third round.

While this draft does not have the superstar at the top, it does have good depth through round 3 or 4. I can't see Philbin being okay with trading away picks and overpaying for Albert. I know it's Irelands decision, but Philbin has some pull there as well. If Parcells and Sporano were still here they'd already given up the first round pick for this guy.

I like the idea all around and the reason is exactly what the Dolphins said from the start, they want the freedom to pick the best player available when it's their turn and have no NEEDS.
Getting Albert may be all that Armando says, but it will make it so the Dolphins pick Kenny Vaccaro if he's there at 12 or anyone else they feel like.
Taking care of the LT position means freedom to take that DE the Dolphins are salivating over for some reason to put more pressure on QBs if they feel like it.
It makes sense and so does moving down to get another 2nd rounder if Vaccaro or the DE they are coveting is gone by #12.
It makes sense and I like...

The team is not going to get Fisher or Joekel in a trade up. It's unlikely they will get Johnson. Johnson is not a Guaranteed starter day one. He has limited experience and is not a lock at the NFL level. He will LIKELY develop and play LT well but it may not happen year one.

For all of you saying Albert is not worth it....I don't think you know much about him. I lived in KC twice in my life so I keep a close eye on the Chiefs each year.

Here is a good video that give some info on him.

http://www.i4u.com/video-gallery/Branden-Albert

Even if they make the trade and don't get another 2nd round pick so what. They used a second round pick to make the team much better.

I thought that what they were used for.

I would rather have a proven player and no holes going into the draft.

If Miami gets Albert, it's another in a long line of temporary fixes. In a year or 2 when he breaks down we'll be right back at square 1. The best olines have worked together for a while, and rotating older FAs is the wrong strategy. We have Pouncey, he'll be here for a long time. We got Martin. Let's draft a LT to develop with those 3 and now you have anchors to work with.

jpao,

How do you know the team isn't going to get Joeckel or Fisher and 'unlikely' to get Johnson? You don't know what Jeff Ireland has planned. We don't even know what the asking proice would be with a team like the Raiders who are anxious to get additional draft picks.

I have to live in KC to evaluate Albert? Seriously? I've watched him lots. He's not that good? Why was he ranked so low last year? Why did he give up 9 sacks in 2009? Where are the Chiefs trying to trade him when they could go in a number oif different directions? Your logic makes no sense to me.

Bottom line, Albert isn't worth a second and the $8-10 mil you'd have to pay him a year. I don't believe this is what Ireland has in mind. Now if they could get Albert for Starks and draft Star then maybe, this isn't my preferred way to go.

Albert would cost more $ but much less in draft comp.
albert=2nd rd Jockel 1+3 + whatever else .

DC @8;23am,

I gotta admit, this makes a lot of sense man. Albert is out to get PAID. THAT'S our answer? Why would we want a guy based on the old CBA pay scale? Ask yourself is Albert an $8-10 million a year player? I don't think he is. Is he top 10 at the position? If he is, then he's barely top ten. I don't see that as the going rate for a player of his status. And it's not like he's going to get better, only older and more injured.

This would be a dumb move, IMO.

Make the trade. Try to get him for a third or possibly a second and get one of KCs lower picks. Albert has played well for 2 years and has gotten better each year. He was the 11th best tackle at protecting the QB last year and 7th best the past 2 years at pass blocking efficiency. Trying to equate Alberts ability to jake long is a mistake. Albert is clearly the better tackle. Albert is an average run blocker but it hasnt stopped KC from being one of the better running teams even w crap QB play. We can't afford to go into the season hoping Martin mproves significantly and start a rookie or some less than average player like Jerry at right tackle hoping they work out. We would be in the same boat we were last year at receiver. We have gotten Tannehill the weapons, now we need to protect him. By getting Albert every pick will be BPA as there is no glaring need left.

I like the Albert deal, he was rated pretty high last year and I believe it was in the top 5 and that was ahead of Long. Giving up pick 54 is a win win so I would be very happy.

IMO the sticking point is the contract details. I would imagine this trade would all hinge on whether or not that can get Albert signed to a long term deal.

If we get Albert that really opens up the draft opportunities. Mingo or Austin or even a trade back to re-coop the 2nd lost in the Albert trade.

mike,

Your getting a younger, less injured and potetnially better player in Joeckel. We'd be cutting Albert in a year or two most likely, because of his salary. Another WASTED second round pick. Short-term thinking.

Plus you're making assumptions that Joeckel is going to be better. If we lost a the late second on a starting lt you can't be mad about that.

You open up the door for a lot of things to happen.

What if thy decided to still move up to get Joeckel or Fisher?

Then we got
Albert
Incognito
Pouncy
Martin
Fisher or Joeckel.

I don't think this is what's going to happen though.

I think we are again going to add Patterson or Austin.

We need playmakers.

As of right now the best players for that are in the draft.

Hartline with his contract is paid as a proving nickel wr or a good number 2.

Add either Patterson or Austin and our offense goes into the top 5.

Mando is wrong on this one,

Miami trading away a SECOND and only a SECOND for a very good starter makes all the sense in the world. It allows Miami to fill a huge need with one of their extra draft picks while not sacrificing what it is going to cost to move up to take Fisher. I like Fisher but he's 6'7 and as athletic as he is for a college player you can't guarantee his 6'7 frame will look equally impressive getting low vs NFL speed rushers and forget bull rushers and power guys they will have their way on more then one occasion until Fisher gets stronger. OH and not to mention a rookie is far from guaranteed.

So you trade #2 and don't flinch for a very good LT. He gets paid, who cares not my money or your money. Fans get too involved with cap numbers just enjoy the product. And now Miami doesn't have to reach at #12. They can trade back or stay put and take the BPA.

Trading a second in no way makes you look dumb when a rookie is completely unproven. It also allows Miami to fill another more pressing need or a chance to add an elite talent and best player at their position in this draft like Star Lotulelei or Kenny Vaccaro.

I offer them Starks. They want it, good. If not, sign McKinnie and get through this year.

Move Starks, draft Sheldon Richardson or Star if he's there

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