JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Offensive tackle Branden Albert has changed his mind about retiring.
After a one-week retirement, Albert has told the Jacksonville Jaguars that he wants to return to the team, but a league source said the Jags are unlikely to allow him to do so.
The Jaguars are currently in Foxborough, Massachusetts, for two days of joint practices with the New England Patriots, and a team spokesman said the Jaguars would not comment on the situation.
SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan first reported the news of Albert’s plan to return.
Welcoming Branden Albert back would be hypocritical of the Jaguars
The Jaguars are trying to build a culture of unity and accountability, so they shouldn’t take Branden Albert back if the retired OL wants to return.
Albert abruptly retired on July 31 just three days into training camp, releasing a statement through the team in which he wished the organization luck and said he looked forward to returning home to Miami to pursue his business interests. He notified the Jaguars on Monday that he wanted to come back.
The Jaguars traded their 2018 seventh-round draft pick to Miami in March for the 32-year-old, two-time Pro Bowler. The Dolphins gave Albert an $8.5 million signing bonus in 2014, and when he retired the Jaguars had the option of pursuing $3.4 million of that pro-rated bonus money even though they had not paid him because they inherited his contract, a league source said.
Albert had two years remaining on the five-year contract he signed with Miami in 2014. He was due a base salary of $8.875 million in 2017 and $9.575 million in 2018, though none of that money was guaranteed.
Albert skipped all of the Jaguars’ offseason conditioning program and organized team activities because he wanted a new contract, but general manager Dave Caldwell said in April the team was not reworking Albert’s deal. Albert did participate in the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp in mid-June and reported with the rest of Jacksonville’s veterans on July 26.
Albert was competing to be the starting left tackle with rookie Cam Robinson, whom the Jaguars drafted with the 34th overall pick. Albert worked with the first-team offense on the first day of camp but Robinson took reps there in the next two practices. Albert was working out in the team facility on the players’ day off on July 30, and tight end Marcedes Lewis said he spoke with Albert that day and they talked about the upcoming season.
The veteran lineman returned to the facility the next morning and told head coach Doug Marrone he was retiring.
Albert hasn’t played a full season since 2011 when he was with Kansas City, who drafted him 15th overall in 2008. Albert has missed 20 games over the past five seasons, including four last season with the Dolphins.