Offensive tackle Branden Albert has informed the Jaguars he will reverse his decision to retire and instead report to camp, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). However, there are many “moving parts,” and Albert is not yet officially a member of Jacksonville’s roster, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). It’s unclear if the Jaguars are interested in welcoming Albert back to the club, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Albert, 32, originally announced his retirement a week ago today, a decision that leave Jacksonville with something of a void at left tackle. Second-round rookie Cam Robinson had been set to protect quarterback Blake Bortles‘ blindside, but he now figures to shift back to left guard, with Albert taking over tackle once again. Overall, it’s a marked improvement for a Jaguars offensive line that will be essential to the club’s success in 2016.
Jacksonville acquired Albert from the Dolphins in exchange for a 2018 seventh-round pick earlier this year, and the veteran offensive lineman requested a new contract almost immediately upon becoming a Jaguar. General manager Dave Caldwell & Co. refused to rework Albert’s pact, and could have sought to recoup $3.4MM in signing bonus money had Albert stayed retired. While entirely speculative, its possible the idea of losing those funds led Albert to report to camp.
Albert, who met with the Jaguars over the weekend (Twitter link via Garafolo), will enter his 10th NFL campaign if his decision to return sticks. Miami will also see a small benefit from Albert’s resolution, as the club should acquire that aforementioned 2018 draft choice if Albert says on Jacksonville’s roster for at least three games.
At present, Albert is scheduled to earn non-guaranteed base salaries of $8.9MM in 2017 and $9.6MM in 2018.
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