Dolphins OT Branden Albert Visiting Jaguars Ahead Of Potential Trade With TE Julius Thomas
Dolphins May Trade Branden Albert To Jaguars, Per Sources
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Albert is visiting Jacksonville on Monday to help facilitated the trade. The swap may be contingent on both players restructuring their contracts, Rapoport added.
The exchange also can’t officially be finalized until the new league year begins on March 9.
Nevertheless, several sources claim all parties are willing to participate in the trade, including Albert himself, who stated this directly to the Sun Sentinel.
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“Why ruffle feathers when you don’t have to?” Albert said when asked about the potential trade to Jacksonville, which he wouldn’t confirm details of. “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.
“Where I’m going they put a lot of faith in me, and they know they are getting loyalty back,” said Albert, who added that the left wrist injury he played with in the second half of the season is finally healed. “My faith, me being a man of Christ, I know God is going to point me where he wants me to be.”
The Dolphins were planning on cutting Albert on Thursday, which would have cleared $7.2 million in salary cap space. Immediately upon hearing this news, however, the Jaguars notified Miami they were interested in a trade.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Friday the Jaguars are Albert’s “primary destination.”
Albert’s contract runs through 2018. Thomas’ deal, meanwhile, runs through 2019, and $3 million of his $7 million owed this year is already guaranteed.
More on the Branden Albert-Julius Thomas trade: Thomas may accept a small haircut on his ’17 salary, while Albert may get his deal sweetened
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 20, 2017
Adding the 28-year-old, 6-foot-5 Thomas would provide the Dolphins’ offense a threat they lacked last season. Thomas caught 30 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns in the nine games he played in 2016.
In 2013 and 2014, he was considered one of the NFL’s top up-and-coming tight ends after catching 108 passes for 1,277 yards and scoring 24 touchdowns over those two seasons with the Denver Broncos.
Albert’s visit to Jacksonville points at Thomas’s leverage. It also demonstrates he’s at least willing to consider restructuring his contract in order to facilitate a trade.
JACKSONVILLE, FL – OCTOBER 18: Julius Thomas #80 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates a touchdown following an interception during the game against the Houston Texans at EverBank Field on October 18, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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