Andy Reid came close, but he didn’t end the mystery of Branden Albert and his standing with the Chiefs in an interview today.

“The thing I know is that he’s a Pro Bowl caliber left tackle,” Reid told The Star from Phoenix, site of the NFL’s annual owners meetings. “I feel that way. He’s a very good player. I have no problem with saying that.”

With that said, Reid wouldn’t confirm Albert would be the Chiefs’ left tackle next season. Albert has told the team he plans to sign the club’s one-year, $9.83 million contract offer as their franchise player.

“I’m going to try to play the five best guys,” Reid said. “I’ve never, ever in my career put a guy into a position he hasn’t played. I had Shaun Andrews (with Philadelphia) and he might have been the finest left tackle in the National Football League had I played him there. He was playing guard for me and then he played a little bit of tackle but he was the best guard in football.

“I know (Albert) can play left tackle and I know he can play it at a championship caliber level. That’s a refreshing thing.”

Albert and his future with the Chiefs has been the subject of much public speculation. It hasn’t stopped even when Albert informed the Chiefs he would sign his one-year contract. One issue has been his position, even though Albert has been nothing but a left tackle since the Chiefs drafted him in the first round in 2008.

Another is whether the Chiefs would trade Albert. They can do so once he signs the contract.

If the Chiefs were to trade Albert or ask him to switch to guard or right tackle, they could select his replacement in either Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher with the first overall pick of the NFL Draft in April.

Both players are generally considered to be among the best players available in the draft.