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Dolphins cut Branden Albert: Impacts to the offensive line

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Miami needs to address two offensive line positions in free agency or the draft this year.

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are making several roster moves on Thursday, including releasing starting left tackle Branden Albert. A two-time Pro Bowl, including one as a Dolphins player in 2015, Albert’s release will save Miami $7.2 million against the cap in 2017, but it also means they now have to fill two starting positions on the offensive line - both guard positions - as 2016 first-round pick Laremy Tunsil will now move from left guard to left tackle, leaving a hole in the roster to be filled.

Miami’s starting offensive line - when everyone was healthy - in 2016 had Albert at left tackle, Tunsil at left guard, Mike Pouncey at center, Jermon Bushrod at right guard, and Ja’Wuan James at right tackle. James will remain at right tackle, while Pouncey - assuming he is healthy - will be at center. The Dolphins are expected to look to upgrade the right guard position, though the team could consider re-signing Bushrod, who is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason, as depth or competition for the starting position. Tunsil moving to left tackle now adds left guard to the shopping list.

Miami’s roster also currently has offensive linemen Anthony Steen (center), Kraig Urbik (guard), Jake Brendel (center), Sam Young (tackle), Jesse Davis (tackle/futures contract), and Terry Poole (tackle/futures contract).

The Dolphins could look to free agency to fill both guard positions, which will likely include Kevin Zeitler (Cincinnati Bengals), T.J. Lang (Green Bay Packers), Evan Mathis (Arizona Cardinals), Ronald Leary (Dallas Cowboys), and Luke Joeckel (Jacksonville Jaguars). They could also consider the NFL Draft to fill the positions. Whatever the case, Miami needs to address both positions this offseason.