There has been communication this week between the Jaguars and left tackle Branden Albert, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (on Twitter). This is a positive development since head coach Doug Marrone, as of one week ago, had not spoken to the lineman.
“I just want to know so when you ask me, I can answer it or when [Coughlin or Caldwell] asks, I can answer them,” Marrone said on May 13. “They ask me, ‘Have you talked to him? Is he going to come? Is he going to play?’ I don’t know. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had a player on the [franchise] tag and they would say, ‘Hey, I’m not signing the tag, I’m not going to [show up], but I’m going to be working out and training.’ … You just want to know where everyone is at and that’s all I was expecting [from Albert].”
Albert still has roughly a month before he can be fined for his absence, but the lack of dialogue between Jacksonville and the offseason pickup is noteworthy. After Albert was traded to the Jaguars this offseason, free agent tackles like Matt Kalil, Riley Reiff and Russell Okung cashed in on the open market, and that likely led Albert to push for a better contract. The Jaguars reportedly are unwilling to renegotiate his deal.
As it stands, Albert has two years to go with cap numbers of $8.9MM in 2017 and $9.6MM in 2018. There is no guaranteed cash in either season.