Right now, the Miami Dolphins know they need another offensive lineman to fill out their roster before the professional football season begins. In order to fill this position, team officials have been in contact with representatives for Branden Albert, who is currently under contract for one more year with the Chiefs.

At this point, the teams are currently discussing trade options with each other. Since Albert is still under contract, he cannot simply sign with another team, as a free agent would. It appears as though Albert’s agent is talking with the Dolphins about the possibility of a multi-year deal.

In order to trade for Albert, the Dolphins would also have to give up a second-round pick in the next draft. As such, they are holding out for a contract that’s longer than one year. This will give the team and Albert much more security, in addition to spreading out the cost of his contract.

Last season, Albert missed three games as the result of a back injury. Once a trade offer is made, the Dolphins will also be able to conduct a physical to confirm that Albert is healthy. If no trade occurs, Albert is set to make $9.8 million under his current contract with the Chiefs.

One of the main components of current talks between Miami and Albert’s representative is that of compensation and how it would be structured over course of a long-term deal. Compensation is often one of the most critical aspects of contract negotiations within sports law and can prove to be a sticking point in negotiations, which is why experienced representation is often important.

Although Albert already has years of professional sports under his belt, the lessons from his current contract negotiations can be valuable for rising athletes. Having a favorable and fair contract is a crucial part of any professional athlete’s career, whether they are a seasoned veteran or just looking for a big break.

Source: Miami Herald, “Miami Dolphins working on deal for Chiefs offensive lineman Branden Albert,” Barry Jackson, April 19, 2013