Branden Albert is retiring from the NFL. The Jaguars announced that the veteran tackle is walking away from the game.
Albert, 32, was acquired by the Jaguars in a trade with the Dolphins back in March. Things did not get off on the right foot for Albert and Jacksonville as the veteran immediately pushed for a new contract. When the Jaguars refused to guarantee a portion of the two years left on his deal, Albert skipped voluntary OTAs and had minimal contact with the team.
Although he showed for the mandatory minicamp in June, he has changed course here in late July. It’s not immediately clear whether his contract played a role in his decision.
“After nine seasons playing in the National Football League, I have decided to retire from the game that has given me so much,” said Albert. “I would like to thank Mr. Khan and the Jaguars organization, Mr. Ross, Joe Philbin, Dennis Hickey and the Dolphins organization and Mr. Hunt, Carl Peterson, Herm Edwards and the Chiefs organization for providing me with the opportunity of a lifetime….I wish Coach Marrone and my Jacksonville teammates the best of luck on their journey this season. During my short stint in Jacksonville, I quickly realized that they are working incredibly hard to turn the corner and I truly believe that they will find success in the coming years.”
Without Albert, the Jaguars will likely start second round pick Cam Robinson at left tackle. Tyler Shatley, Patrick Omameh, and free agent addition Earl Watford could be among those competing for the left guard spot that was originally supposed to be covered by Robinson.
The loss of Albert could be devastating for a Jaguars offense that is looking to right the ship and get a quality year out of quarterback Blake Bortles. On the plus side, Jacksonville now has some extra cap room to work with in the event that a quality left tackle pops up on the free agent market in August.
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