Armando Salguero

Branden Albert to Jacksonville in the works — but not for Julius Thomas

Offensive tackle Brandon Albert, shadow boxing as part of his 2015 offseason training regimen, is the key figure in a trade already agreed to between the Dolphins and Jaguars.
Offensive tackle Brandon Albert, shadow boxing as part of his 2015 offseason training regimen, is the key figure in a trade already agreed to between the Dolphins and Jaguars. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to a trade that would send left tackle Branden Albert to Jacksonville in exchange for a 2018 late-round draft pick, according to a league source.

And although the teams have agreed to the compensation, which is most likely a seventh-round pick, this doesn’t mean the deal is complete.

It’s important that Albert agree to report to Jacksonville for the deal to happen, so the clubs have agreed that Albert’s representation can speak with the Jaguars about his contract status and the player can visit with the Jaguars despite being a member of the Dolphins.

The Jaguars and Albert’s agents have been talking for several days about the offensive lineman’s contract, and there is a good chance the Jaguars will not only take on Albert’s contract, which runs through 2018, but might extend the deal in order to give the player a greater sense of financial security — a way of enticing Albert to play for the Jaguars.

Albert is also expected to visit Jacksonville this week to meet with leaders of the organization and perhaps even some players. This would again be so that Albert feels comfortable making the move up I-95 rather than declining to report to Jacksonville and forcing the Dolphins to simply release him as they originally planned last week in order to gain $7.2 million in salary cap relief.

Albert is open to the idea of going to Jacksonville, per multiple sources, but that is not completely decided.

Either way, Albert will not be playing for the Dolphins in 2017. And the team will be getting that $7.2 million in cap relief.

Albert will either be with the Jaguars or be going to the free agent market once free agency and the NFL trade period begin on March. 9.

The point is there are still significant moving parts to this deal that must be maneuvered before a trade can be consummated.

This trade does not include Jacksonville tight end Julius Thomas. During the weekend various local and national reports had the Dolphins trading Albert for Thomas.

Although Thomas is a player the Dolphins would be interested in, he is not currently part of a player-for-player swap for Albert, per multiple sources.

The Dolphins would be dealing Albert for a draft pick in this trade.

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