Armando Salguero

Not so fast: Branden Albert not cut by Miami Dolphins after all

Offensive tackle Branden Albert (76) remains with the Miami Dolphins for now.
Offensive tackle Branden Albert (76) remains with the Miami Dolphins for now. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Sometimes it makes sense to not cut a good player.

That’s what the Miami Dolphins are thinking now because the team has decided not to cut left tackle Branden Albert, after all.

Although the team had made a decision to release the 32-year-old veteran, spoke to him Thursday morning to break the news, and Albert told his agents he was out, the plans changed sometime Thursday afternoon.

So when the league deadline to report transactions came and went at 4 p.m., Albert was not on the transaction list.

Branden Albert remains with the Miami Dolphins.

Why?

Per a league source with knowledge of the issue, it seems there is sudden and significant interest from at least one and perhaps other teams in acquiring Albert. And that being the case, the Dolphins are apparently going to pause and assess the possibilities.

This doesn’t mean Albert will be with the Dolphins in 2017.

That is not the plan. The Dolphins still expect to position second-year player Laremy Tunsil into their starting left tackle job.

But if the Dolphins can gain something for Albert, that would obviously be the smart thing to do.

This pause, by the way, comes with no certainty. If a trade happens, the earliest it could be consummated is March 9, the first day of the league year and the first day the 2017 trading period.

If no trade can be worked out, Albert would be cut and become a free agent.

One thing: This issue is a complex matter that obviously involves the player’s wishes. For Albert to be traded, he’d have to be comfortable reporting to the new team.

And why, one might ask, would a team trade for Albert if the Dolphins’ early intentions were to cut him anyway?

Simple: A team trading for Albert gets a starting caliber left tackle. And the new team is buying certainty.

If Albert becomes a free agent, multiple teams are likely to bid for his services and there is no certainty he’ll end up with any one particular team.

Bottom line: Branden Albert remains a Miami Dolphin for now.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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