While all of his Kansas City Chiefs teammates start their offseason conditioning program this week, offensive tackle Branden Albert is the Los Angeles area at our NFL Network studios. Albert doesn't plan to be back with the team until he's required to be.
Albert was given the franchise tag this season and reportedly is on the trade block. He said he wants clarity in his situation before he returns to the team. NFL Network's Steve Wyche asked Albert on "NFL AM" on Tuesday what he wanted to know before jumping on board with coach Andy Reid's new regime.
"If I'm going to be traded," Albert said, "(I want to know) if I'm going to be there long-term. Right now, everything is uncertain."
Albert said he hasn't "even thought about" if he will show up for mandatory activities. He was asked if he would be willing to play under the terms of his franchise tag despite not signing a long-term contract.
"If it's something I have to do, I'll have to do it. But I'd rather not," Albert said. "I want that long-term commitment. But as you know in football, you don't have too much control of the situation. I want to play for the Chiefs, but I want that commitment long-term."
Albert said he does not want to move to right tackle, which is something to keep in mind with a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft at left tackle coming aboard (offensive linemen Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson are pegged to be selected early in the first round, according to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock).
"I want to know the answer," Albert said. "I don't want to be in limbo. Ever since the end of the season, I've been in limbo. I want a definitive answer of what's going to happen with me."
We might not get that answer until draft day. The Chiefs appear to be dangling Albert on the open market, and they probably won't get their best offers until the draft is close or under way. Keeping Albert in limbo also keeps the Chiefs' options wide open with the No. 1 pick.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.