Last week, offensive lineman Branden Albert seemed pretty sure that he didn’t want to play for the Jaguars. After being traded to Jacksonville from the Dolphins in March, Albert sought and didn’t get a new contract from the Jags, so after three days of training camp, he retired before ever playing a down.
In just a week away from football, though, Albert seems to be missing the game. The problem is, the game isn’t missing him. He reportedly told the Jaguars that he wants to come back, but ESPN is reporting that the team might not let him. Albert’s contract wasn’t guaranteed, but he could have made nearly $9 million this upcoming season. The Jaguars, however, would rather go with the younger, cheaper option at left tackle in rookie Cam Robinson.
Albert was short on leverage and options, so on Monday he reportedly agreed to go on the team’s reserve/retired list. The Jaguars keep his rights, but if Albert decides he really, truly wants to play again, they have to either pay or cut him.
This pretzel of a situation is of Jacksonville’s own making. The Dolphins had planned to release Albert in February, but the Jaguars jumped the gun and traded for Albert before he could become a free agent. Essentially, Jacksonville gave up a seventh-round pick so that Branden Albert could retire as a Jaguar.