The Dolphins obviously needed a blindside protector, possibly more than any team in the league, but this was a buyer’s market in terms of left tackles, which is a rarity considering top level blindside protectors rarely are allowed to hit the open market. However, this off-season Albert, Jared Veldheer, Eugene Monroe, and Anthony Collins all were available as high level left tackles, while Rodger Saffold has the ability to be a strong left tackle when healthy. Branden Albert got 5 years, 46 million, with 25 million of that guaranteed, which makes him, by far, the highest paid of the bunch and I don’t think he’s the best of the bunch.
Eugene Monroe got 5 years, 37.5 million with 19 million guaranteed from the Ravens. Eugene Monroe has been a top-16 offensive tackle on ProFootballFocus in each of the last 3 seasons, maxing out as #6 in 2011. He graded out 16th overall this season, but playing even better once he was traded to Baltimore. The Baltimore “version” of Monroe was the #12 offensive tackle this season. Jared Veldheer got 35 million over 5 years from Arizona and he was Pro Football Focus’ 17th ranked offensive tackle in 2011 and 12th ranked offensive tackle in 2012, before an injury plagued contract year hurt his value a little bit.
Still, I think both of those players are better than Albert, who is 3 years older, going into his age 30 season, has a history of back problems, and really didn’t get a lot of interest from his original team, the Chiefs, in keeping him around. Albert has never graded out higher than 18th on Pro Football Focus, ranking 18th in 2011, 25th in 2012, and 28th in 2013. Veldheer and Monroe have graded out higher than 18th a combined 5 times over the last 3 years, with the exclusion of fluky injury plagued year for Veldheer in 2013. Albert will help the Dolphins, but he’s not the elite blindside protector the Dolphins are paying him like, so they really overpaid, to the tune of about 10 million dollars over 5 years.