The Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars completed a pair of trades this offseason, one sending tight end Julius Thomas to South Florida while the other moved left tackle Branden Albert north to Duval County. In exchange for the players, the Dolphins provided the Jaguars a 2017 seventh round draft choice, while the Jacksonville gave Miami a 2018 seventh round pick for Albert. Prior to the trades being completed, both players met with their new teams, with a lot of the discussion thought to center on re-working contracts if the trades were to be completed.
Thomas, who had signed a five-year, $46 million contract with the Jaguars as a free agent in 2015, agreed to a two-year contract worth $12.2 million ($3 million guaranteed) with Miami. He has a $5.6 million salary cap number for 2017, then a $6.6 million cap number for 2018.
Albert, meanwhile, has not agreed to a new contract with the Jaguars and has skipped all of the team’s offseason workouts as he looks for the new deal. Albert joined the Dolphins as a free agent in 2014, signing a five-year, $47 million contract at the time. The Dolphins were planning to release Albert this offseason as the team looked to move second-year lineman Laremy Tunsil to his natural position at left tackle after playing left guard last year. The Jaguars, in looking to avoid a free agent bidding war to land Albert should he be released, made the offer to the Dolphins, but do not appear to be planning to give Albert, who has no guaranteed money remaining on his contract with two seasons left on the deal, a new contract.
It has led to the missed voluntary workouts by Branden and an awkward situation in Jacksonville, where they do not have a left tackle for which they made a trade this offseason. The holdout, however, will not continue into the mandatory training events, it appears.
Marrone said Albert told him he will report next week.— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) June 9, 2017
Under league rules, players cannot be punished for missing any of the offseason training program events, including organized team activities, other than the mandatory three-day veteran minicamp. Jacksonville, like Miami, will be holding their minicamp next week - and it seems like Albert is making the choice to avoid those fines and report for practice. Albert, a 2013 (with the Kansas City Chiefs) and 2015 (with Miami) Pro Bowl selection, will likely still be looking for a new contract from the Jaguars, but it will now be done while he is with his teammates and on the practice field.
For more on Albert and all things Jaguars, check out Big Cat Country.