Jaguars OT Branden Albert retires after nine seasons

31 Jul


Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Branden Albert is hanging up the spikes.

After a bizarre offseason during which Albert was traded by the Dolphins to the Jags before skipping offseason workouts in hopes of acquiring a new deal, the former Chiefs first-round pick decided to call it a career.

Albert provided a statement through the Jaguars’ official website on Monday.

“After nine seasons playing in the National Football League, I have decided to retire from the game that has given me so much. I would like to thank Mr. Khan and the Jaguars organization, Mr. Ross, Joe Philbin, Dennis Hickey and the Dolphins organization and Mr. Hunt, Carl Peterson, Herm Edwards and the Chiefs organization for providing me with the opportunity of a lifetime. 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! Special thanks to Al Groh and the University of Virginia for giving me the opportunity for a great education and showing faith in me when no one else wanted to take a chance on me. I am truly thankful for my UVA family.

“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. While this chapter of my life is coming to an end, my story is still going and I hope you’ll follow along. I will be furthering and finishing my education. GOD BLESS AND GODSPEED.”

The team’s website noted Albert was working with the first string throughout most of training camp so far, making the decision all the more strange. Without question, the heaviest burden falls on rookie second-round pick Cam Robinson, who likely will start the season off as the team’s left tackle.

The Jaguars‘ offensive line has been a work in progress throughout the Dave Caldwell era. After watching former first-round pick Luke Joeckel falter, the hope was that Albert could come in and provide a bridge to Robinson, one of the highest-regarded offensive linemen in this year’s draft. Should Robinson live up to expectations, quarterback Blake Bortles won’t have to worry about anyone crashing down on him from the blindside.

Albert, 32, made two Pro Bowls (2013 and 2015) during his career. He started 118 games over nine seasons with the Chiefs and Dolphins. Since he will not appear in three games for the Jaguars this season, Jacksonville will get back the 2018 seventh-round draft pick they sent to Miami in the Albert trade.

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