Cam Robinson, you’re up.
The former Alabama tackle likely will be groomed to become the new left tackle in Jacksonville, given the abrupt retirement of 32-year-old veteran Branden Albert.
“After nine seasons playing in the National Football League, I have decided to retire from the game that has given me so much,” Albert said in a team-issued release. “God has blessed me with so much through football that I thought would never be attainable. It’s been truly a blessing. I cherish all of the relationships and people I have encountered while playing in the NFL. . . .
“This is such a special league and it’s been an honor and a privilege to play this sport professionally for the past nine years. I wish Coach Marrone and my Jacksonville teammates the best of luck on their journey this season. During my short stint in Jacksonville, I quickly realized that they are working incredibly hard to turn the corner and I truly believe that they will find success in the coming years. I look forward to returning to Miami, the place that I now call home, and running my businesses, while giving back to the community.”
The Dolphins traded Albert to Jacksonville in lieu of cutting him, and Albert promptly boycotted the offseason program in search of a new deal. He was due to make $8.875 million in 2017.
Retirement allows the Jaguars to seek up to $3.4 million in bonus money paid by the Dolphins to Albert, since the Jaguars inherited his contract via the trade. It may seem unfair, but that’s precisely what the Buccaneers did after trading for quarterback Jake Plummer, who retired in lieu of reporting.
It’s entirely possible that the Jaguars had told Albert that they wouldn’t be paying him $8.875 million this year based on what they’d seem from him, that he refused to take less, and that he retired in lieu of being cut, with the team agreeing not to recover the bonus money if he walks away voluntarily.
Regardless, Albert has now retired, which will prompt many in the media to assume he did so for health reasons, ignoring the reality that if he’d gotten the kind of raise he was looking for earlier this year, he’d likely still be playing.