There are certain things in life I am willing to over pay for.
Real Oreo cookies and not the generic grocery store brand. Wireless internet routers. A good ballpoint pen.
And left tackles.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says that Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert is a “high priority” for both the Cardinals and Dolphins. It’s possible the Chiefs move to re-sign him, but there seems to be a decent chance — based off recent reports — they might let him walk.
Good. Let him walk right into the Cards’ Tempe facility.
When presented with this information, ESPN.com insider Mike Sando said, “I think Albert may get a little overpaid. But when you’ve been where Arizona’s been at left tackle, I think I could justify overpaying for above average. I think that’s what you’re getting with him and why Kansas City isn’t expected to re-sign him.”
Branden Albert is by no means perfect. He’ll be very expensive. He has missed quite a bit of time the last couple of seasons due to injury. Surely there are reasons why Kansas City is letting him go in the first place, so you have to be wary of that.
It would address a need for the Cardinals that seemingly dates back to the beginning of recorded football history and in some ways would be like netting two players for the price of one.
Signing Albert means drafting whomever you want at number 20. Nothing on draft day is worse than being held hostage by your own needs. Don’t get me wrong, I think Jonathan Cooper will turn out to be a fine player but realistically, the Cards had to take him. By ignoring offensive line in the draft for the better part of a half decade the Cardinals lost their freedom of choice; need dictated that selection.
Sign Albert and now you’re free to do what you want.
Maybe the Cardinals enjoy that freedom anyway; Mike Mayock recently said on a conference call that the tackle position is so deep this year a team could find a starter in the second round. But are those the dice you want to roll if you’re the Cardinals?