With starting left tackle Branden Albert likely to be traded, breaking down what the Miami Dolphins should do.
The Miami Dolphins somewhat incompetently let slip that they were cutting left tackle Branden Albert just under a week ago. However, this was before apparently realizing that some teams may have interest in a starting left tackle. Subsequently, the Dolphins changed their minds, elected not to release Albert and instead began to try and work out a trade.
At this point, all signs point to him being shipped off to the Jacksonville Jaguars if the two sides can agree on a new contract. The deal is expected to bring the Dolphins just a 2018 late-round pick, which is less than impressive all things considered. However, it is worth noting that the move coupled with the trade for Julius Thomas ultimately amounts to a swap of the two players and a swap of late-round picks.
For the Jags, this move follows the blueprint of what they tend to do during free agency. They love picking up big name veterans to try to fill their gaping holes. In case you haven’t been following the Jaguars over the past decade, but this strategy hasn’t been going particularly well.
While they are adding a good player, he’s also a 32-year-old player who is clearly breaking down. Albert no longer plays at a Pro Bowl level and has averaged four missed games per year over the past six years. Health and age has to be considered an issue. These types of moves have consistently fallen flat for Jacksonville.
If the deal with the Jags falls through, there are a few other teams that are or should be interested. Most notably the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings. The most intriguing trade proposition included swapping Albert for Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib. It’s a deal that makes sense for a number of reasons—even if it’s aiming high.
The money matches up and Talib is an expendable aging corner who is sitting in front of a talented Bradley Roby in the Denver secondary. Talib also fits the mold of a big, tall corner the Dolphins are looking for. The Giants also had a few intriguing pieces they could have sent Miami’s way. But alas, this looks improbable at best at this point. Therefore, Albert appears destined for Jacksonville.
For Miami this is a risky move, but it’s also one that makes sense. While you can never have too many offensive lineman, Laremy Tunsil has made Albert and his contract expendable as he appears ready to take his place as the franchise left tackle. Nonetheless, this does force the Dolphins to fill yet another offensive guard spot, an issue that has plagued them since they ran Richie Incognito out of town.
This was ultimately an inevitable move that was going to happen no later than 2018. The Adam Gase regime has not given us a reason not to trust them. They’ve done a great job since taking occupancy and hopefully they keep it going, including moving on from Albert.