Brandon Albert Franchise Tag Fallout Will Affect Chicago Bears


Aug 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Brandon Albert (76) on the sidelines against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 27-17. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs were busy on Franchise Tag deadline day.  The Chiefs made three big moves whose effects will ripple across free agency and in turn to the Chicago Bears.

First, the Chiefs were able to sign Dwayne Bowe to a contract extension.  That will ripple to the Bears who have a #1 wide receiver of their own.  Don’t think that Brandon Marshall didn’t notice.

Marshall, of course, will be expecting a big payday when his contract expires in a couple of seasons.  The Bowe deal will be another piece to help set the bar for the Marshall deal.  You think he’s thirsty coming off a record setting season?

By signing Bowe to a new contract, the Chiefs were able to apply the franchise tag to left tackle Brandon Albert.  That move will have far reaching effects on the Bears and the rest of the NFL in both the draft and free agency.

In free agency, it dries up the market for offensive tackles that much more.  After Albert and Denver Broncos’ Ryan Clady received franchise tags, it gives guys who hit the market like Jake Long, Jermon Bushrod and Sebastian Vollmer a ton of leverage.  It’s supply and demand, so with a short supply and a high demand, the price will go up.  It’s Econ 101  people.

The other ripple from the Albert tag is in the draft.  The Chiefs sit in the pole position, holding the top pick in April’s draft.   After the Chiefs traded for Alex Smith, it was widely believed they’d select Luke Joeckel with the #1 pick in the draft.  Now, they could either trade the top pick if a team is enamored for Joeckel or someone else for that matter.  Otherwise, they could go in another direction with the top pick and then all the other top offensive linemen move down a peg in the draft.

It had been widely believed that the top offensive tackles Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson will be gone by the time the Bears select at #20.  It’s also expected that at least a couple of the top guards – Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack – will also be gone.  With Alert returning to the Chiefs, it’s entirely possible that the market could shift and one of those top 5 O-linemen will slip to the Bears.