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Draft week: Will Ireland panic on Branden Albert?

Jeff Ireland has generally not been one to panic throughout his tenure as the Dolphins general manager.

Once he realized that Chad Henne was not the answer as Miami's franchise quarterback, he didn't panic and pick Ryan Mallett in the 2011 draft. He didn't panic and make the deal for Kyle Orton later that summer. He didn't panic earlier this offseason and give cornerback Brent Grimes or tight end Dustin Keller multi-year deals. He didn't panic and fill an offensive line need by immediately committing to Eric Winston -- either last year or this year.

Indeed, the only Ireland move I can really think would even come close to being a panic move was the trade up for running back Daniel Thomas in the second round of the 2011 draft. The Dolphins desperately needed running back help after moving on from Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams and apparently feared losing out on Thomas so the move was made.

Despite that one apparent indiscretion, Ireland has been a fairly cool customer when it comes to acquiring players. (No, he doesn't always get the right one. No one does. But he doesn't get flustered about going after anyone, either). He certainly played it cool with left tackle Jake Long and that is one reason I've confirmed Long went to the St. Louis Rams.

Seems Long didn't think the Dolphins showed him enough love or respect, probably by the structure of their offers to him, to return to Miami.

And that brings us to the Branden Albert situation.

Albert is the Kansas City Chiefs left tackle who is on the trade block. And the Dolphins have shown considerable interest. But the interest has not been to the point where the Dolphins had offered the Chiefs a trade proposal as of this writing. The interest had not been to the point where the Dolphins had worked out a contract with Albert's agent as of this writing.

Ireland had so far played it cool. 

As of Sunday afternoon, this was still in the pending file.

But as this is officially the dawn of draft week, and all three parties -- the Chiefs, the Dolphins and the Albert camp -- would like a resolution to the issue that involves them all, the pressure on Ireland is about to mount exponentially. And pressure often causes folks to panic.

Because the draft is less than four days away, the Albert camp wants the Dolphins to get a deal done. The Chiefs want to bring this to some sort of conclusion because they'd like to know if Albert is going to be on their roster or if they're going to have an extra draft choice -- a fairly high one apparently -- for Albert.

And there is a certain amount of pressure on the Dolphins to figure out both draft compensation and a contract for Albert if that's the direction they're going to go. And if that's not the direction they're going to go, the Dolphins need to figure out how else they'll solve their left tackle vacancy that apparently they're not thrilled with Jonathan Martin filling.

So, yes, there is pressure. And this is about the time someone might panic.

Will it be Ireland?

He's the most likely choice of the three parties involved.

Albert's camp doesn't have to panic. They've got a signed franchise tag they're holding which guarantees the player $9.8 million in 2013. Yes, they want a multi-year deal. But are they going to cave to get that done?

Absolutely not. Indeed, the Albert camp believes it is working from a position of strength. They have a guaranteed one-year deal. They have a player that can hit the free agent market next year and get major bucks because it's unlikely the Chiefs would franchise him again at 120 percent of this year's cap value. They also have a suitor on the line for a multi-year deal. So there is not real timing pressure on them.

And that's why I'm told Albert wants to get paid. He wants a contract that is better than the four-year, $34 million deal with $16 million guaranteed the Rams gave Jake Long.

Yes, Branden Albert expects to get a better deal from the Dolphins than Jake Long ultimately believed the Dolphins were offering him. Now, one can play with the numbers. It's possible the Dolphins' offer to Long might have been higher than the Rams' but was structured in such a way as to make it easy to get rid of him after one year if he was injured again.

But on the face, Albert wants to do better than the deal Long thought was the best one on the table.

And they're not under undo pressure.

The Chiefs are playing it coy, too. They've not giving Miami permission to speak with Albert personally or give him a physical until they have a signficant trade offer on the table. And as of this writing, that was not yet the case.

They can argue they'll draft as planned and simply keep Albert and there will be opportunities to trade him later. Of course, we know this is posturing. The Chiefs want the draft pick compensation for Albert by Friday the latest. And if they don't get it by then, they're losing the maximum benefit of trading him. But I'm simply telling you what they might be pitching as a stance.

Ireland and the Dolphins?

They seem more desperate. They don't have a left tackle. The veil of using Martin as the answer has been removed. That's not what the team wants. That would only be the last resort move.

They aren't going to ransom their entire draft to trade up for Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher as those two left tackles might go No. 1 and No. 2 when the draft begins Thursday. They're not in love with Lane Johnson enough to mortgage a signficant part of their draft to trade up for him. (Maybe if he drops to them, they go with him. But trade up for him? Not in the plans as of today).

So what's left? Pick the fourth-best left tackle and hope?

It's a time for lesser men to panic because there are not wonderful options.

But this is my advice to Jeff Ireland:

Do you. Be yourself. Do not panic.

Paying Branden Albert -- a good but not great left tackle -- like he's an elite left tackle is not a palatable move to begin with. And paying a 2013 second- or third-round pick to Kansas City for the privilege makes it less appealing.

So hold fast.

Offer a 2014 second-rounder instead of 2013.

If it must be a 2013 pick, make absolutely sure that it's the second of Miami's two second-rounders (Nos. 42 and 54) and make sure that a trade down from No. 12 in the first round is available so you can regain that extra pick to mitigate the sting of trading for Albert.

(That likely means waiting until Thursday because very few teams will be willing to make a pre-draft trade for the No. 12 overall selection before then). 

If the Chiefs don't want to budge, call their bluff. Seriously. What are they going to do after picking Joeckel? They have to trade Albert. So wait them out.

If Thursday comes an goes and Friday comes and goes, Braden Albert will still be on the trade block. And then the pressure on K.C. will indeed mount. They're not going to waive the guy. Make the trade for a '14 pick. Give them that second-rounder, tell them they beat you up, shake their hand and call it a day -- all the while knowing they didn't win because they didn't take your current picks.

Remember Jimmy Johnson's old axiom: A second-rounder next year is like giving up a third-rounder this year because experience and maturity will likely cause the third-rounder to produce faster and more. So giving up a second next year for Albert is more of a bargain for Miami.

That strategy would give the team Albert this year, plus its full complement of draft picks this year. And that 2014 pick you trade away might be a lower selection anyway if your moves this year pay the kind of dividends you expect and you're in the playoffs.

Does waiting out K.C. come with risk?

Of course it does. Maybe another team jumps into the picture. Maybe the Chiefs rethink their strategy and keep Albert.

But those risks seem marginal. Albert's been on the market for a while and no one else has stepped up. And Albert has made it known to the Chiefs he's dead set against playing right tackle so he's causing them some pressure on that front.

Look, this deal could be done by Monday night or Tuesday if Jeff Ireland panics. Yes, he'd immediately have the solution to his left tackle issue. But the move would seem unthoughtful in the wake of losing Jake Long because the cost would be higher on multiple fronts (trade compensation as well as big contract compensation to the player).

Or ...

Ireland could strap his belt a notch tighter and hold his breath. He could wait out the Chiefs and the chances he'd get Albert could diminish. There's uncertainty there admittedly.

But sometimes testing that uncertainty is better than being the guy that panics.


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That is what you do when you devote all your time to one single thing. Until he proves us wrong, I'm going with his word.

Posted by: Bodine | April 22, 2013 at 07:07 PM

I got laughed at for calling Ireland Masterful after witnessing this past season and his moves. I started to notice when I realized how many picks we were going to have this year. And then when our cap numbers started to be reported, I was.......(gulp)......VERY impressed.

He is on Fire too. With his back against the wall, he nailed it in Free Agency.

So I'm going to sit back and hope it all carries over to the "Big Show"........The Draft.
It's "Make It" or Break It" Time for Ireland and Everybody knows. Make no mistake though, this Free Agency period wasn't enough to save his job. Not in and of itself. He's going to have to "Nail It" again in the Draft and Pray it shows in the Win/Loss column!

Jeff "Eastwood" Ireland!

ROTFLMAO - The "Dirty Harry" of GM's!

Hang Em High!!!!

I don't claim to be an expert on zone-blocking Bodine, but I have followed Shanahan's Teams and I can clearly see the linemen standing up, not on the floor, sliding L and R. Definitely less physical. Have you seen it?

Let's not judge the season by the draft picks. You can't judge a draft pick before they take the field. Let's judge it all by the team's performance.

There will definitely going to be 3 QBs drafted in the 1st Rd, Geno, Nasif and Matt Barkley. Now in which position, I don't know.

I don't buy into this 'tough schedule' nonsense. For one, every season is different. And two, as you improve as a team, the schedule gets easier.

I think it is to our advantage we play what we think are the tougher teams early on. Less time for them to get to know us.

btw, Jets won't go for a QB at #9. IMO, Sanchez is a good QB placed in the wrong hands. NJYs might have the same opinion, now.

Have you seen it, Bodine?

Yeah, you could say that at least 5 of the first 12 spots in this Draft will be occupied by LTs and QBs, as it should be. The rest is there for the pickings.

Of course if it wasn't for the French, this nation would be Great Britan and not the US of A.

Yes oscar, I have seen it. Every team is different, every strategy has its nuances. Even zone blocking teams don't zone block every play. It is not an all or nothing proposition, no different than 3-4 or 4-3 defenses are all or nothing, all teams use both every game.

Have you REALLY seen it, Bodine?

oscar, I've learned many times over not to underestimate others.

A thing of beauty, a thing of beauty it is for those of Us that like the running Game such as you and I, Bodine. Right?

J. Martin have a reputation of being "soft" since college, and still have "some" success, he haven`t a full off season last year, maybe he faced the "rookie wall" last season and still have "some" success, I think we will be fine with J Martin at LT.
Of curse there are interest to upgrade the position right now but I don't feel a real urge to do that.
Albert ask for a high wedge because is the begin of the negotiations and he is comfortable with the franchise tag.
May be there are some other teams interested in Albert like Lions or Chargers but they have the virtue to be more subtle.

The worst thing, Bodine, is not to underestimate somebody, that can happen to anybody until you get to know that person. The worst thing is to COMPARE yourself to somebody else. There, you have no gain, either way.


Oscar's right about the Jets. They won't take a QB till Rex is fired and a new coach comes in next year. Every coach wants to go to war with his own guy. Sanchez and Garrard will be the guys this year till they both are cut, with Rex at the end of the season.

What world are we living in that one of the worst starting tackles in the NFL is worth a second-round pick??

He's the 26th rated tackle according to pro football focus. He had ONE good year - and he's still 26th.

Anything less than a late third would be STUPID.

Ireland has the firepower to go up to #1 to pick Joeckel if that who it is. He said it. He just might not want to go that route.

Hell, bobby, those are inflexible Coaches. If I had been JJ, I would have kept Marino at least a little longer. What do you think?

Ireland knows he would look like a fool to give up a high pick and pay Albert more than he offered Long. He has no intention of looking like a fool.

This Is The Last Time I Am Talking About This.

Before My Words Got Twisted And Changed To Suit Another Person's Argument.

My Point Was Never Comparing Egnew To Mallett. I Compare Qbs To Qbs. Reason I Said A. Dalton, C. Kaepernick, and Even T. J. Yates Before Drafting R. Mallett.

My Point Was Dolphin Fans Consider Egnew A Bust, Because He Got Drafted In The 3rd and Hasn't Produced In 1 Season. Yet, Some Consider Mallet A Potential Success Even Though He Has Been In The League For 3 Seasons, Hasn't Produced 1 Bit And Was A Question Mark When He Got Drafted. But Mallett Still Has Potential Because He Played For The Pats.

Notice Dashi Gave His Reason. Why I Think R. Mallett Is/Will Be A Bust. Might've Been Petty But It Was A Reason. Yet, Kris Hasn't Given 1 Opinion Of His Why Mallett Will Be A Success.

And Whenever You Say I Would've Picked Him In The First. You Are Basically Stating You Expect The Player To Be Successful. That Is Implied.

And Saying A QB Named R. Mallett Should Still Have Been Picked With Our 2011 First Rounder. Knowing The Qbs Taken In That Draft. And Knowing What We Already Know About T-Hill.

Yet, Knowing Nothing About Mallett As A Pro. Except 1 for 4, 17 Yds, 1 INT.

Again I Was Comparing 3rd Rounders. Not QB To TE.

If I Wanted To Compare QB To QB. I Would Compare R. TANNEHILL TO R. MALLETT.


I say it again, Jeff Ireland made a mistake letting Jeff Long go. Albert is not Jeff Long when both are healthy. How many times have Albert been to the pro bowl? Jeff was forced to play injured, so he wasn't himself which caused him to miss the season. I will bet you he will make the pro bowl again this year. I disagree with Mando, there is no presure on Miami, it is all on KC and Albert. Miami have many options, KC will lose Albert next year for nothing, and Albert will be taking a gamble waiting for next year espacially if he plays RT this year with KC, or he gets injured. Now or never for KC and Albert. As for Miami, sign Winston and/or draft LT or RT.

Ireland has the firepower to go up to #1 to pick Joeckel if that who it is. He said it. He just might not want to go that route.

Posted by: oscar canosa | April 22, 2013 at 08:03 PM

I hope he doesn't want to go that route Oscar. That would pretty much cost us half of our draft. If their not comfortable with Martin at LT it might be a good idea to at least meet Albert in the middle.

We already lost Jake Long because the Rams gave him a 1/2 million more a season than we would.

Marino hung around 2 or 3 years too long. He was jittery in the pocket and throwing like a girl scout his final 2 years.

JJ built up a good defense but totally destroyed the offense. He thought his ego would come in and win a SB in two years. Well, now he is a fisherman.

Kasey Tiger, who is Jeff Long??

JETS PICK 9 & 13.


Ireland will not only look like a fool but he will be fired if Tanny spends most of his time on his backside and we lose 10 football games.

We need a LT. Who cares about Irelands pride.

Dashi is a rambling idiot desperately trying to cover his tracks.

When you are wrong, you are wrong. Man up to it. You will never convince others you are right when you are wrong. You only make yourself look that much more superficial, if that is even possible.

Oscar, after that absolute beating we took in that playoff game, I think even Dan had enough. That had to be the lowest point of his career.

I Will Be Happy If Ireland Manages To Do As Good A Job As He Did Last Year.

Even Though I Expect Him To Do A Better Job This Year. With More Experience And Knowing What Philbin Is Looking For In His Players.

Honestly, I Hope The Deal For B. Albert Doesn't Happen. I Would Rather Ireland Try And Fix The O-Line Thru The Draft.

Hey, Paul, have you noticed that when these Posters here are submitted to pressure, they start making mistakes? They won't do at all.

Dashi can't understand that Belichek is not going to bench the most successful QB of his generation for anybody. Wise men like Belicheck have patience to groom the rookie for play or trade.

Dashi doesn't think about who picked Mallet. It was Belichek. Why? Who knows better? Dashi will never even convince a blind flea that his opinion has any relevance, certainly not over Belicheck.

Rick, Albert is not worth his asking price. If you have doubts, ask yourself why no other team with a serious need at LT, and there are many, is showing interest.

JJ got rid of Marino, in favor of whom? A mistake in calculating and judgment, both.

Ireland gunned up for players that were worth it. He obviously isn't gunning up for Albert...maybe he thinks he can get him much cheaper after the draft. We'll see.

Nobody is paying Albert the megabuck long term contract that he wants.

oscar, JJ and Marino retired the same year.

Bodine, I agree we shout pass on Alberts but a good many teams in need of 20:30:49 help will choose their beast in the draft.

I Know You Have Been Playing The Background.

Specially Since We Made It Acceptable For You To Come Out.

But If You Want To Talk About Dashi, You Can Use Your Regular Name.

Tannehill is not going to spend his time on his backside. He is highly mobile and one of the very best throwers on the run.

Many of you are way over-inflating the LT spot. You let the media dominate your opinions. Many, many SB winners won without a premiere LT. Of the top LT's of the last five years, Long, Thomas, Clady, only one of them, Clady, won one single playoff game once.

I learn from the media, but still pay attention and listen to what my eyes see. It is if many of you read the same drone fake wannabe pundits about pulling and LT and blah blah blah so much that you just accept it all as fact with no context as to the reality.

I realize that none of us see any position with nearly as much insight as professional coaches that dedicate there entire lives to it, that have decades of direct experience with the pro's.

We are just cheese doodles rapping for fun. I realize that. Some of you don't.

Yeah, they both went down the drain, Bodine.

The following from PFT Bodine:

"That may be why Mike Jurecki ‏of XTRA 910 in Phoenix is hearing that the Cardinals have discussed a trade with the Chiefs for left tackle Branden Albert".

My guess is there aren't alot of teams left with enough money under the cap to sign Albert.

Is he worth the money? Depends on how bad you think you need him.

I don't get invited to the Fins teams meetings so I really don't how bad there needs is for a LT. The fact that they were still a player for Long til the very end though and they have talked KC and Albert himself about a deal....I'd say the need is pretty high.

Again So The Only Reasoning Behind Mallett Being OK, Is He Is A Patriot.

What Happens When Belichick Cuts Him. Or He Gets Traded, Which He Won't.

Talk all The Junk You Want. But You Mallett Fans Can Only Come Up With He Plays For NE. And That Is The Worst Description I've Heard To Explain For A Player Being Good. He Plays For So and So.

R. Mallett Was Already At His Full Potential Before The Draft. He Has No Physical Gifts.

The Pats Weren't Developing A Whole Lot With R. Mallett. He Should Already Be Close To A Finished Product. Or As Close As He Will Ever Be.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Total Access that the Dolphins are willing to meet LT Branden Albert's asking price, but the hangup in a Kansas City-to-Miami trade is draft-pick compensation.

"I'm told the Dolphins do not have a problem with that," Rapoport said of Albert's price tag. "I know some people are saying different. I'm told they don't have a problem with it." Per Rapoport, Albert wants "Duane Brown money" -- not Jake Long money. Brown signed a six-year, $53.4 million extension last August, with $22.08 million guaranteed. It sounds like the Chiefs will send Albert to the Dolphins if the sides agree to trade terms. Miami has two second-rounders, but would prefer to part with No. 54 rather than 42. Related: Dolphins
Apr 22 - 7:22

Someone will take Albert. But he is no hot commodity at his price. It appears Miami has passed on him. Now the lowly lame Cardinals might be interested? Whoopi doo. That says nothing.

Desperation is never a winning strategy.

Someone is trying way too hard. Pena.

Rick, I'm no GM. I just can't see giving up a higher salary than Long PLUS a 2nd round pick for him. He is just not that good. If they do it, I hope they don't regret it.

K. Dansby Might Sign With The Bills.

Somewhere In Canada, Craig Is Doing A Sporano Fist Pump.

There is the dashi we know, always dancing to be right and hiding to be wrong. Pathetic mamma's boy fo sho.

It is appearing more and more now that Long, for some reason, wanted to throw a wrench into Ireland's plans. And he did. For a few$ more.

McDonald, Andrew try this guy at left tackle or sign Mckinnie, he is Tannihills boy.

Many of you are way over-inflating the LT spot Posted by Bodine
Many of you are also thinking in the box. What if the Dolphins brain trust with the zone blocking scheme want to draft one of the two top OG's @ #12 and then draft another OG they project as an OT. This regime seems to want an offensive line with quickness.

I felt that the Dolphins should have drafted Clady instead of Jake Long at number one but everyone is so in tune with the rankings and what a few media guys say. No one would have projected that Clady was a much better OT than Long. However because of his much quicker lateral movement he is a much better OT in todays NFL. This brain trust must have other options in mind.....stay tuned.

A report on the NFL website said the only thing holding up the trade for Albert is the draft pick. It said the Phins are willing to meet his contract demands.

I hear you Bodine. Personally I think if they felt the need was big enough it would have made more sense to resign Long than give up a 2nd rder IMO.

I think Ireland just played his cards and perhaps missed on Long. You win some you lose some.

I really wouldn't be surprised if the Albert deal happens though. There isn't any good LT options for us in the draft. Fluker has never played a down on that side and the other 3 will be gone before we pick.

yeah rick deal is all but done, all albert has to do is accept the lower amount

Odin, still here? What did you think of The Vikings on the History Channel? Thought it was pretty good but a little bit historically inaccurate. 'Ragnar'and some of the others had shaved backs of their heads. As far as I know, the Normans were the only ones to do that. Did you notice that?

dashi, you can spout your opinions like anyone else, but until you lose that condescending and ridiculous aire of fake superiority, until you own up to your statements and stop tryig to weasel and twist out of them in the name of trying to be always right, nobody will ever respect you. Think about it. Who here do you think respects you?

People are not as dumb as you think, Plenty of bloggers here have so much more experience in life than you realize. You only look more naive and ignorant to those that know far better and see more than you do.

We've been there. You haven't gotten there. It is easy for us to see. One day in the future you too will see this and feel embarrassed. Mark my words.

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