We have released DE Mario Williams, DT Earl Mitchell and waived CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) February 16, 2017
You’ll notice one name not on that list, despite multiple media sources reporting his name first: Branden Albert.
Dolphins release of Branden Albert, while tough, makes sense. Tunsil to LT. Buy a guard. You can't keep going into years with fragile OL.— Dave Hyde (@davehydesports) February 16, 2017
It makes no sense to say you’re going to release him and then not release him, and that leaves us with the most likely option to justify the back-and-forth: the Miami Dolphins have found a potential trade partner.
The logic is sound. Think of it from another team’s point of view: if Albert was outright released, they’d be in competition with potentially 30 other teams for his services. If they’re able to agree on fair compensation, and that’s anybody’s guess on what that compensation might be, then they compete with no one. Perhaps the early leak of Albert’s impending release forced interested parties’ hands in exhausting the trade route.
Couple of things: With so many tackle-needy teams, don't be surprised if Branden Albert finds a home quickly. There's interest.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) February 16, 2017
Best case scenario is that these “tackle-needy teams” drive up the trade compensation. Middle case scenario, we get value for someone we were planning on releasing. Worst case scenario, we release someone we were going to release anyway.
This is an interesting chain of events, and more importantly, a move that might add draft picks (or a player) for free. It’s these types of maneuvers that add potential lottery tickets to an already budding organization.