Branden Albert, Who Retired A Week Ago, Wants Back On The Jaguars And The Jaguars Appear Less Than Welcoming
TheBigLead- Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Branden Albert retired from football on July 31, then announced he had changed his mind on Monday.
Albert was traded from the Miami Dolphins to Jacksonville on March 9 of this year in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 32-year-old, two-time Pro Bowl left tackle wasn’t thrilled about his new situation and refused to show up to OTAs or voluntary minicamp. But he did report for the mandatory portion. Part of the issue was a contract dispute, and part of it was that Albert simply didn’t seem to want to be a Jaguar. That said, he did arrive on the first day of training camp.
After three days of camp, Albert announced his retirement. Word is, he was being outclassed by Jacksonville’s younger linemen. So maybe the game had passed him by and it was time for him to hang em up. But, there was one problem: if Albert did retire, he’d have to give back $3.4 million to Jacksonville. That money was part of the signing bonus from the five-year, $47 million deal he signed with Miami in 2014.
Now, just seven days later, he put those retirement plans on hold. He wants back with the team and the Jaguars don’t seem to want him anymore. They’d rather have the $3.4 million.
And let that be a lesson to all NFL players out there. For those of them that aren't already keenly aware of just how expendable they are, I would strongly suggest they study this Braden Albert story as tonight's homework. After all, if there were a sad sack organization that could be leveraged into giving a 32 year old left tackle more guaranteed money for no reason whatsoever then it would be the team of perennial losers that it's in desperate need of giving their hopeless quarterback as much protection as possible. The Jacksonville Jaguars could probably benefit from having as many experienced big bodies as possible with how often Blake Bortles' struggles will inevitably force them into running Leonard Fournette straight into the pile. Yet, when it giving a 2-time Pro Bowler a second chance their response was that of a soon-to-be married couple giving gift suggestions - "seriously, just give us money instead".
It appears that whole "temporary retirement" thing was a much better posturing tool in theory. Though - in fairness - who would have thought that an NFL team would jump at the chance to get a player to pay them while his position was adequately filled by someone far younger, cheaper, and more talented? I'm absolutely stunned that executing his threat to walk off a professional field like a butthurt 4th grader that was trying to sabotage recess by leaving the teams with an odd number of kids didn't work out in his favor. In retrospect, he probably would have been wise to consult a financial adviser before officially quitting on a whim, but how could an aging player that was moved for nothing more than a 7th round pick have seen the game passing him by this quickly?! More than being a victim of emotional and irrational decision making, Branden Albert is a victim of bad timing. I can't think of a single time in the last decade that the Jaguars would consider themselves talented enough to take a stand, but they took that money and ran faster Usain Bolt selling dime bags of oregano. What an unlikely scenario to play out for a declining veteran that left about $17 million dollars on the table and expected it to still be there when he came back a week later!