Branden Albert is set to earn over $2.7 million this season as the left tackle of the Kansas City Chiefs. Beyond that, the numbers should be enough to make the veteran salivate.
After watching teammates like Brandon Carr cash in this offseason, Albert undoubtedly has his sights set on being a free agent in 2013 and the possible payday to follow. The announcement today that Albert has changed agents from Todd France to Brad Leshnock and Joe Flanagan of BTI means that the tackle is thinking ahead and the Chiefs likely will be as well. Are they willing to work out an extension? So far, nothing has leaked one way or the other on Albert's future.
The Chiefs aren't expected to address the offensive tackle position early in the draft after the signing of Eric Winston, so the development of David Mims will be a subplot to follow through the next year. His presence could play a major role in how comfortable the Chiefs feel allowing Albert to possibly walk or signing him for the long-term. While the Virginia product is rarely lauded among the NFL's elite, Albert has been a steady performer who improves with each season of experience.
As a starter over 60 games in the last four seasons, the Chiefs would have a difficult time replacing Albert without costing a significant investment of a high draft choice or big money to another player. Perhaps it'd be best for all parties to extend Albert now, especially given he's only 27-years-old with many solid seasons to come.