KC Chiefs: Chiefs unlikely to franchise tag Branden Albert, Stephenson as replacement?

The KC Chiefs placed the franchise tag on offensive left tackle Brenden Albert prior to the 2013 NFL season--it is unlikely that they will repeat history this year.

According to Jeffery Flanagan of FOX Sports Kansas City, the KC Chiefs look to be comfortable enough with the development of second-year tackle Donald Stephenson to let the coveted Albert walk via free agency.

Flanagan reiterated the KC Chiefs' "dire need of financial freedom" as a huge determining factor for this decision. Albert would command $11 million if tagged--money the KC Chiefs could utilize elsewhere to lock up other free agents.

The KC Chiefs seem to have a legitimate contingency plan in line, as Flanagan posits that, "Stephenson could conceivably step into a starting role at left tackle, or the Chiefs could switch last year's first overall pick, Eric Fisher, to the left side and move Stephenson to right tackle."

Stephenson would have big shoes to fill if the KC Chiefs decide to let Albert walk, as the 2013 Pro Bowl left tackle, despite missing four games last year with a knee injury, has been a mainstay of the KC Chiefs offensive line for the past six seasons.

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