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Contradictory reports on Albert, Dolphins contract

I do not understand the media. And I'm in the media.

Last week's heinous and cowardly terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon showed that the media can often go after the same story and come away with contradictory facts.

Remember the New York Post reporting there were 12 deaths when there were three? Remember CNN reporting there had been an arrest and the Boston police having to tweet there had been no arrests because, well, there hadn't been any? Remember the reports of the bomber being dark-skinned? A right winger? A lone wolf?

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Are you getting the drift?

We in the media often miss it. I am no exception.

Most of us are doing the best we can with the information others are willing to share. Some of us have good sources. Some of us ... not so much.

And that brings me to Branden Albert.

Remember him?

It's all we've been talking about for several days, it seems. And as the possibility of a trade happening is floating out there, the national media has caught wind and is also working the story.

But, lest you forget, sometimes excellent and well intentioned reporters get contradictory information from their sources. So I present to you the Monday night tweets from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Rapoport tweeted that the Dolphins have agreed to pay Albert's contract demands, which are basically similar to those Houston LT Duane Brown got from the Texans last season. He added that the deal is thus merely waiting on KC -- obviously meaning the Dolphins and Chiefs have to agree to the trade compensation necessary to complete the deal.

Fine.

Mortensen, among the best in the business, reported quite the opposite several hours later. He said the Dolphins have been "turned off" by Albert's contract demands. And he said there has been little or no communication for two weeks. 

 Well now, that presents something of a contradiction in my mind. They both cannot be correct if they're saying polar opposite things -- that contract parameters are agreed to and that the contract parameters turned the Dolphins off.

I don't know who is correct. I don't have any tiebreaking information. 

I do know Brown got a seven-year $56.2 million deal in August of 2012 that included a six-year extension worth $53.4 million. Do the math: The extension averages out to $8.9 million per year. And the $22 million in guaranteed money is an armored truck load.

And the Dolphins are going to pay that and give up a draft pick, too?

If that is true, I smell desperation.

Look, Brown was the best left tackle in the AFC and perhaps the NFL last year. He's been elite for a couple of years now. He finally got recognized for his play with a Pro Bowl berth last year -- not that that is the truest measure of his worth. Bottom line, he's worth the money.

Albert, meanwhile, is a good player. There is no arguing that. Scouts say that. The metrics people at ProFootballFocus rated him the 11th best pass blocking left tackle last year. And from what I've seen, my eyes tell me he's solid.

But he's not $8.9 million a year plus a draft pick good. 

Aside from his play when he's healthy, I'd be worried about the guy's durability. Look, the primary reason the Dolphins didn't grease up Jake Long with the love and respect (read big-money contract that didn't question his durability) he wanted is because he had durability issues.

Well, in Albert's five NFL seasons he's played 16 games once -- that in 2011. Last year he missed five starts and three full games because of a back issue. Albert missed more starts than Long last year. 

And the Dolphins are going to give Albert nearly $9 million per year?

Let me put it this way: I hope Mort is right. 

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