The Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins are working on a deal to send tight end Julius Thomas for left tackle Branden Albert, a more than fair trade.
The 32-year old Branden Albert is far from playing his last football and the Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled to find a way to use tight end Julius Thomas. Swapping the two players (the Miami Dolphins sending Albert) makes perfect sense for the Jaguars as they hope to rebuild the offensive line to be competitive quickly.
The latest deal rumors between the Jaguars and the Dolphins indicates that this is the kind of deal in mind for Albert. News broke about a possible trade for Albert earlier this week. The Sun Sentinel reported that the two teams are working on the deal for those two players.
If the deal does go through, which the Sun Sentinel’s Omar Kelly reports involves willing participants, the Jaguars will be making a deal that is more than fair. The Jags desperately need a new left tackle, especially after not picking up Kelvin Beachum‘s option, and Albert is an obvious upgrade over anyone currently on the roster.
At the same time, sending Thomas over to Miami also gets rid of a high-priced headache for the team as they work to trim less productive players from the roster. Thomas has not been on the same page as quarterback Blake Bortles and is clearly underperfoming based on his talent displayed with the Denver Broncos before coming to Jacksonville.
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If the Jaguars and Dolphins do finish this trade up, it represents a strong move from the new Jaguars regime headed by Tom Coughlin. Coughlin knows how to build a team from the trenches and his desire to create a strong offensive line to support the running game and Bortles is exactly what he needs to do. Coughlin is showing the NFL that he is willing to go out and get his man, no matter the cost.
As regards the Jags losing a key bargaining chip, it’s unclear whether Thomas would have much more value than landing a critical offensive line replacement. Aside from his struggles with the Jaguars, Thomas has no clear role moving forward for the Jags. They get to offload him for an upgrade at another key position while also positioning the team to bring in someone younger and with potential at the tight end position.
All around, this is a win-win for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The devil is in the details, but it looks good for now. More details will be finalized between now and the start of the new league year on March ninth.