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Dolphins, Jaguars Reportedly Agree on Compensation in Albert Trade
Monday, Feb. 20
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported the Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to a trade that would send Albert to Jacksonville in exchange for a "2018 late-round draft pick." Albert Breer of The MMQB reported it will be a 2018 seventh-round pick.
Salguero noted the agreement doesn't mean the trade is complete and that the two sides "have agreed that Albert's representation can speak with the Jaguars about his contract status" and Albert can visit the team.
Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel first reported on Sunday that the Jaguars and the Dolphins were discussing a deal that would send tight end Julius Thomas to Miami in exchange for Albert.
ESPN's Adam Schefter later reported that a source had said the deal is not expected to be done soon, while Jason Cole of Bleacher Report reported the Jaguars believe they'll reach a deal, but he added there are still issues to resolve, with more pressing problems on the Dolphins' end.
Salguero first reported on Feb. 17 that the Jaguars had emerged as a potential destination for Albert. He noted there are numerous hurdles to clear before the trade period opens March 9 in order for the sides to complete a deal, though.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network confirmed the report, noting that the Jaguars are the "primary destination" for the tackle.
The Dolphins were set to move on from Albert on Thursday before changing their mind late in the process because of "sudden and significant interest" in him, according to a previous Salguero report. So the front office decided to keep him on the roster, at least for the time being.
It's still hard to imagine a scenario where the 32-year-old Virginia product remains with Miami heading into next season, though. He's coming off a lackluster finish to the 2016 campaign, and the team has Laremy Tunsil, who played guard as a rookie, ready to take over at left tackle.
That said, a trade would be the preferred method of Albert's exit for the Dolphins.
Spotrac pointed out releasing the two-time Pro Bowl selection would leave $3.4 million in dead cap space for 2017. He's under contract through 2018 with a cap hit of $10.6 million for next season and $11.3 million for the final year of the deal.
That's why making a deal, even if the return isn't significant, makes more sense than merely letting him go.
Ultimately, the Dolphins are limited in their amount of leverage for trade talks after the reports surfaced about their plans to release Albert. So they should take the best offer on the table once March 9 arrives, even if it's only a conditional pick in the future.
It's time for the team to rebuild its offensive line, which Pro Football Focus ranked 30th in the NFL for the 2016 season, with Tunsil as the key building block on the left side.