The Kansas City Chiefs are still deciding what do with receiver Dwayne Bowe and left tackle Branden Albert, and it could have an impact on how they use the No. 1 pick in April’s draft.
Bowe and Albert could both become free agents next month. And with a top-heavy class of offensive linemen available, including Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M, what the Chiefs do over the next two weeks could dictate how the draft falls.
“I did have a chance to look at him, and I’ll tell you, he’s a pretty good football player,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Joeckel on Thursday at the NFL‘s annual scouting combine. “I haven’t had an opportunity to meet him. I look forward to having that opportunity.”
Reid also didn’t discount trading out of the No. 1 pick.
“We’re going to evaluate everything,” he said. “We’re just not going to give it away, so we’d have to see what people throw our way. It’s a pretty valuable pick.”
Bowe played in only 13 games last season because of injuries, but he still had 59 catches for 801 yards and three touchdowns. The former first-round draft pick has been the Chiefs’ top wide receiver almost since his arrival, catching 415 passes over the past six seasons.
Last season, the Chiefs kept him with the franchise tag. When the two sides couldn’t work out a long-term deal, Bowe refused to report to the team until midway through training camp.
Reid said no decision has been made on Bowe, though it appears franchising him again is a possibility if they can’t sign him to a new deal. The only other option is to let him test the free-agent market.
“We are going through that right now,” Reid said. “Free agency kicks off here in a little bit (March 12), and we will see what happens before free agency. The main thing is, there is communication there and we’ll just see how it works out over the next few weeks.”
The bigger question might be what the Chiefs will do with Albert. He was limited to 11 starts last season because of a back injury and has only played in 16 games once in the last five seasons. But he recently traveled to Kansas City to undergo a physical, and Reid said the team is still discussing his situation.
“I had him in because he had a fairly significant injury, so we’ve kind of got to work through that,” Reid said. “Our doctors were able to evaluate him, we’re talking through it and we’ll kind of reconvene after we’re done with this week down here.”