Despite being the most experienced offensive lineman on the team, the Jaguars could opt to cut Branden Albert loose before the regular season.
When the Jacksonville Jaguars curiously decided not pick up left tackle Kelvin Beachum‘s contract option, it became clear they wanted to find high level long-term solution at that position. Branden Albert certainly isn’t the long-term answer, but the team traded for him with the idea of letting him hold the fort until the they drafted a guy to take over.
We didn’t have to wait long, as the Jaguars selected Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Robinson has exclusively played left tackle and he would likely be the best player the Jaguars have had there since Eugene Monroe. He could play guard, but we haven’t heard much about that so far from the coaches.
We’re all assuming Albert will be the starting left tackle, but that may not end up being the case.
NFL Network (or NFL.com’s) Gregg Rosenthal went through some possible surprise roster cuts and he thinks a candidate is the Jacksonville Jaguars projected starting left tackle.
"9) Branden Albert, OT, Jacksonville Jaguars: At some point after the Jaguars drafted Cam Robinson No. 34 overall, Albert realized he didn’t have as much leverage as he thought. It’s worth wondering if Albert realized it too late. He showed up to mandatory minicamp after skipping OTAs and giving Robinson a head start in the battle for the left tackle job. It’s not like the Jaguars have much invested in Albert. Due $8.875 million coming off a down year plagued by injuries, Albert was acquired in a trade for only a seventh-round pick. His status could be out of his hands. If Robinson looks ready to go, another trade of Albert isn’t out of the question."
I doubt the Jaguars could trade Albert, but if they can get anything for him then I wouldn’t be surprised to see him off the roster. The Jaguars need better play along the offensive line, but they actually have a bit of a logjam.
The team seems intent on moving Brandon Linder back to guard and slotting in someone else (maybe Luke Bowanko) at center. That leaves only one spot really up for grabs – left tackle. If the Jaguars start Albert there, then their second round pick is left sitting on the bench.
I don’t think it will happen, but it might be the best move to cut Albert loose and just let Robinson start.