Last week, the Miami Dolphins nearly released starting left tackle Branden Albert, then held on to the two-time Pro Bowl selection when trade interest started coming in to the team. Throughout this past weekend, the trade interest all seemed to settle on the Jacksonville Jaguars, with the trade possibly including Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas.
While the trade would not be able to be official until the start of the new league year on March 9, media reports seem to indicate that both the Dolphins and Jaguars, as well as the players involved, are interested in seeing the deal completed. According to a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Omar Kelly, Albert told the paper on Sunday, “Why ruffle feathers when you don’t have to? It’s the business of the game. I honestly believe where I’m going to go is the right fit. It is going to be a surprise when [the terms] comes out.”
Albert and Thomas are both expected to need to restructure their current contracts if a trade were to be completed.
“My tenure in Miami, I served my purpose. I was brought here to help change the culture and I believe I did that,” Albert told the Sun-Sentinel. “Now the team is on a winning path and I leave my mark on the people I was supposed to leave it with, the youngsters on the team.”
Albert also added some insight into Miami’s second-year offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, who will move into Albert’s left tackle position for the 2017 season. “If Laremy Tunsil stays healthy and he becomes an all-around left tackle, not just skill-wise, I think he is one of the most gifted athletes I’ve seen. And it is hard for me to say that because I am a competitor and I feel like I am one of the most gifted athletes. I haven’t seen a young talent like that, so equipped and so ready to play; it’s a full-spectrum. It’s a responsibility as a left tackle to be that guy, to be a leader. And he has that quality because people respect him and how he plays. If he becomes full-fledged, around at left tackle, I believe he will be one of the best left tackles to play the game of football.”
The rumors of a possible deal between the Dolphins and Jaguars continue to swirl, though nothing seems to be completely finished as of yet. Will Miami be able to add a potential seam threat tight end who flourished in Adam Gase’s system in Denver? Will they then re-sign Dion Sims to pair with Thomas, giving them an effective one-two tight end combination? Will trading Albert and opening a second hole on the offensive line come back to haunt the team?
There are still a lot of questions to be answered, but the rumors keep swirling, so it appears something will eventually happen.