The Miami Dolphins have received permission from the Kansas City Chiefs to discuss a contract with franchised left tackle Branden Albert, reports John Clayton of ESPN.com.
According to the report, the compensation would involve one of two picks the Dolphins hold in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. The Dolphins' own second-round pick is No. 42 overall and the team picked up the No. 54 overall pick from the Indianapolis Colts in a trade last August involving cornerback Vontae Davis.
Albert received the franchise tag from the Chiefs this offseason and is currently scheduled to earn $9.828 million in fully guaranteed base salary. Though Albert signed the one-year tender, he is not participating in the Chiefs' offseason program and will not report to the team until he receives some clarity and/or a long-term commitment.
Albert lives in Miami in the offseason and, according to Clayton, will visit the Dolphins' facility within the next few days. The Dolphins currently have $8.264 million in cap space, so they would have to work out a contract that reduces Albert's cap number this season before officially adding him to the roster.
Miami is in the market for an offensive tackle, preferably one who could man the left side, after allowing Jake Long, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2008 draft, hit the free agent market. Long signed a four-year, $34 million contract with the St. Louis Rams that included $16 million in guaranteed money. The Dolphins used their second-round pick in 2012 on Jonathan Martin, who started 16 games as a rookie, mostly at right tackle. Martin struggled in limited duty at left tackle and acquiring Albert, who has started 71 games during his first five seasons in the NFL, would allow Martin to remain on the right side.
The Chiefs have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft and two left tackles — Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M — are regarded as being worthy of the top pick and the $22 million in guaranteed money that accompanies it. The Dolphins have the No. 12 pick in this year's draft, which puts them on the outside of the area of the draft where they could select a player such as Fisher, Joeckel or Oklahoma's Lane Johnson, who is another tackle who is expected to hear his name called among the first seven or eight picks.
To move up to select one of those three tackles, the Dolphins would likely have to package the No. 12 pick with one of their two second-round picks, which may not be an appealing option for GM Jeff Ireland, whose moves this offseason reflect a "win now" mode within the organization.