TUESDAY, 8:04pm: Albert got an $8.5MM signing bonus on his deal with the Dolphins, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports. He’ll make $11.025MM in the first year. The total is $47MM over five years, potentially.
3:12pm: Albert has agreed to a five-year, $46MM deal that includes $25MM in guaranteed money, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
MONDAY, 3:05pm: Albert is line to sign with the Dolphins for $10MM per year, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
10:58am: The Dolphins have made Branden Albert a top priority since being allowed to speak to his agent on Saturday, and it looks like their work on the offensive tackle will pay off. A day after Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote that the Dolphins would likely sign Albert, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald confirms (via Twitter) that the Chiefs free agent “will be a Dolphin.”
According to Salguero, an agreement between the two sides isn’t 100% in place, but it looks like it should be finalized tomorrow. Peter King of TheMMQB.com reported earlier today that Miami looked ready to “blow the opposition out of the water” for Albert, and it sounds like the lineman’s new long-term deal could be worth $10MM+ annually.
Left tackle was the Dolphins’ top priority this offseason as the team looked to repair an offensive line that will be decimated by free agency and last season’s bullying scandal. We heard last month that Miami intended to target Albert and Eugene Monroe, but Salguero tweets, with some surprise, that the club didn’t even have Monroe ranked as the second-best option at left tackle.
When I listed my picks for the top 25 free agents of 2014, I ranked Albert 11th overall, noting that he has recorded positive grades for four straight seasons, according to Pro Football Focus. I wrote that the Dolphins would have interest, but predicted Albert would land in Arizona on a four-year contract worth $8-9MM per year. It sounds like the 29-year-old will sign an even more lucrative deal with Miami, while the Cardinals are expected to shift their focus to Jared Veldheer or Rodger Saffold.
As for Albert’s old team, with whom he’s still under contract for one more day, the Chiefs will likely replace him by shifting Eric Fisher to left tackle and starting Donald Stephenson at right tackle.