The Miami Dolphins have kept busy since the 2013 season ended and that continued on Tuesday when they reached deals with Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert on a five-year contract and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell on a four-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
The Albert contract – worth $46 million including $25 million in guaranteed money, according to ESPN – marks the first step in the revamping of the team's troubled offensive line.
Albert, 29, had been with the Kansas City Chiefs since 2008 and was widely considered one of the better free agents available this offseason. In addition, he fills a big need for the Dolphins who are trying to better protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill. NFL.com listed Albert in their free agency primer as one of the elite offensive linemen on the market.
Mitchell's deal comes in at $16 million with $9 million of it guaranteed, ESPN reported. The 26-year-old had been with the Houston Texans since 2010 and is a former third-round pick. ESPN points out that Mitchell led all other nose tackles with 48 tackles in 2013.
Mitchell was listed in the defensive section of the NFL.com free agency primer and he should bolster Miami's defense in a noticeable way.
Albert lives in Miami, according to an NFL.com tweet, and that likely played into his decision to join the Dolphins. This is the second consecutive day that the Dolphins brought in a free agent with an affiliation to the city. Louis Delmas, who inked a one-year contract on Monday, lives in Florida as well. Delmas also attended North Miami Beach High School per a tweet from his agent.
The Dolphins now have taken care of some of their needs but there is still work to do as the team looks to return to the postseason for the first time since 2008.