Chiefs to let Branden Albert walk, according to report

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs could be starting a new left tackle and a new right tackle in 2014 with Branden Albert likely to leave Kansas City.

The Chiefs have made the decision to let offensive tackle Branden Albert sign elsewhere in free agency, according to 610 Sports anchor Danny Parkins. Albert has been with the Chiefs since they selected him with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

The Chiefs were willing to trade Albert last season after franchise tagging him before the start of free agency in 2013. He was shopped prior to the draft and the Chiefs were attempting to send him to the Dolphins, but the deal hit a snag. Eventually, any chance of a trade before the 2013 NFL Draft was dead and the Chiefs held on to Albert for the season.

Albert has started 83-of-85 games that he has appeared in over the last seven seasons. He made his first Pro Bowl this past season, after allowing four sacks, six quarterback hits and 16 hurries in 12 games at left tackle, according to Pro Football Focus. Despite those numbers, Albert was graded well as a pass blocker by PFF, but scored negatively as a run defender.

The 2012 season for Albert was actually much better than his Pro Bowl year, as he only allowed one sack in 13 games, per PFF. That was a massive improvement for Albert as he allowed 15 sacks in the 32 games between the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Albert is considered the top left tackle in free agency this offseason with a talented class behind him. He will likely command an annual salary of at least $10 million. His two likeliest suitors this offseason would be the Dolphins and Cardinals. Both have needed left tackle help for a few seasons and have the cap room to make a deal work with Albert.

With Albert potentially moving on, second-year player and last year's first overall pick Eric Fisher would likely move from right to left tackle. Fisher appeared in 14 games (starting 13) in his rookie season. A groin injury caused him to miss two games as a rookie.

Donald Stephenson, a third-round pick in 2012, will likely serve as the starting right tackle moving forward. He has appeared in all 32 games over the last two seasons. He has 14 games of starting experience, having started seven in each of his two seasons.

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