INDIANAPOLIS — Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said during his Friday media session at the NFL Scouting Combine the Chiefs have been in contact with soon-to-be free agent left tackle Branden Albert’s representatives.
Dorsey’s comments are the first since a report surfaced last week the Chiefs are willing to let Albert go.
“That’s the first I’ve heard about it,” Dorsey said. “We have ongoing conversations with all of our unrestricted free agents.
“Just so happens we’ve had conversations with Branden’s representatives. That’s the beauty of the Combine is those guys are here, and we’ll continue that conversation with those representatives as the Combine passes.”
Albert, who has six accrued seasons, and 10 other players, a group that includes Pro Bowl punt returner Dexter McCluster, guard Geoff Schwartz, defensive end Tyson Jackson and free safety Kendrick Lewis, are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents when the new league calendar starts on March 11.
The Chiefs could choose to utilize the franchise designation to prevent a player from entering the free agency market, such as they did on Albert in 2013.
The NFL deadline to identify a franchise or transition player is March 3.
But Dorsey told a group of local Chiefs media members away from the podium the team is inclined to not designate a franchise player when asked if that remained an option.
“Probably not,” Dorsey said. “We probably won’t use it.”
Meanwhile, another player Dorsey talked about outside the main media room was quarterback Alex Smith.
Dorsey said the Chiefs remain in communications with Smith’s camp about a possible contract extension.
Smith, who established career highs in numerous statistical categories in 2013 while leading the Chiefs to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth, is set to play in the final year of his contract.
“What we’ve done is we’ve reached out to every representative for every unrestricted free agent that we have,” Dorsey said. “We’ve also talked to Alex Smith’s representative as well.”
In the meantime, the Chiefs are set to enter free agency with $6.8 million in cap space, according to OverTheCap.com, a website that tracks NFL salary caps.
The Chiefs could get creative with cap space by extended Smith’s contract or restructuring other players’ current deals.
However, that’s a subject Dorsey isn’t willing to discuss in the open.
“I don’t think it’s fair to talk about a player’s contract in a setting like this,” Dorsey told the group of local Chiefs media. “I think that’s not the proper business that you like to do.
“But I always say we have ongoing conversations with their agents. I just think every year has a different set of dynamics, new set of questions that have to be addressed every year, and that’s how we’ll leave it.”
Notes: Dorsey said he Chiefs Andy Reid are of “like mindset,” and that makes coming to work fun … “We enjoy coming to work every day,” Dorsey said of his relationship with Reid … Dorsey laughed when asked his thoughts on linebacker Derrick Johnson’s hit on running back Jamaal Charles in the Pro Bowl … “I was mad at him,” Dorsey said with a laugh and smile. “I’m going, ‘D.J., that’s your teammate. You’re not supposed to do that.’ I kind of texted him after, too. ‘D.J. Easy there, big boy.’”