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Branden Albert, Chiefs hope to complete contract

INDIANAPOLIS -- Despite rampant speculation to the contrary, the Kansas City Chiefs have not yet decided if they will allow left tackle Branden Albert to walk in free agency.

General manager John Dorsey told NFL Media's Steve Wyche on Friday that the Chiefs still are hoping to work out a deal for Albert before free agency begins in March.

Dorsey declined to say if the franchise tag would be an option should the sides fail to reach an accord. Because he was tagged last season, Albert would merit a 120 percent raise on his $9.828 million contract from 2013.

More proof that Albert remains in the team's plans? Dorsey told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday that Eric Fisher, last year's top pick, still is penciled in as a right tackle, not a left tackle.

Albert is one of this year's top-10 free agents. If he's kept off the market, tackle-needy teams such as the Arizona Cardinalswill be disappointed.

As for quarterback Alex Smith, Dorsey confirmed to Wyche that an extension is on the agenda, but there is no rush to complete a deal.

Neither Albert nor Smith can be blamed for the Chiefs' late-season collapse. This offense scored 35 points in five of their last seven games, including four games with more than 40 points.

On the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys speculate on big names who could be cut, then talk offseason forecasts for the Packers and Raiders.

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