Ace, that's definitely a fair point that a lot of the extra tonnage went into armor (not only armor, but armor that had already been manufactured). As I understand it, Albany and her sisters were not stupendous seaboats after their conversions... perhaps a giant hulking Alaska would be better in this regard.
I'd still rather offload the Polaris to a SSBN and use the deck area more productively, though
A large, unmistakable surface combatant is kind of a crappy nuclear deterrent in the first place, and the latter role would undoubtedly have cramped the ship's service career as long as the missiles were shipped. Imagine the geopolitical complications of stationing a Polaris ship off the coast of Vietnam in the late 1960s... even if all you wanted it for was PIRAZ and carrier escort.
The calculus changed somewhat, I suspect, when Tomahawk made every
VLS ship a nuclear strike capable platform. When everything is a deterrent ship, nothing is. But there would have been only one or two CBGB-Alaskas.