In what may be the worst kept secret of the "legal tampering" period over the weekend, offensive tackle Branden Albert and the Miami Dolphins were negotiating and said to be close on a deal. Today, that deal came to fruition as NFL free agency opened.

The Miami Dolphins have a left tackle. In an offseason that will see the franchise completely rebuild their offensive line, the first piece has been put into place as the team signed offensive tackle Branden Albert. Over the weekend, during the league's "legal tampering" period, the deal was described as "expected." With the NFL Free Agency period opening this afternoon, the deal is now official.

Albert was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season after playing the year on the Kansas City Chiefs' franchise tag. The Dolphins and Chiefs had been working on a trade that would have sent the 2008 first-round Draft pick to Miami before last year's NFL Draft, but the two sides could not agree to terms, in part because the Chiefs refused to allow teams to conduct a physical on Albert.