The Jacksonville Jaguars and veteran offensive tackle Branden Albert have been at a stalemate with contract talks. The Jaguars traded for Albert this offseason, needing to upgrade their offensive line and replace Kelvin Beachum. The team got word the Miami Dolphins were going to release Albert and decided to offer up a late round pick rather than bid against other teams in free agency, which in turn made the team inherent the remainder of Albert’s current deal, which had no guaranteed money.
Albert has yet to show for voluntary mini-camp, with the idea that he wants to re-work his contract. No one knows exactly for what, but the most common assumption is for some guaranteed money to be added to his deal for some financial security, since he did not hit the open market. The Jaguars didn’t talk much about the issue until the team drafted Cam Robinson in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Immediately following the pick, the Jaguars stated they would never re-work Albert’s contract.
While the practices thus far have been voluntary, next week the team begins mandatory mini-camp for veterans, which means the team can begin to fine Albert if he continues to no-show and those fines can pile up quickly.
#Jaguars LT Branden Albert's fine schedule next week if he no-shows for mandatory mini-camp:— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) June 9, 2017
The team and Albert had no communication whatsoever until about a week ago, and even since then it has been minimal. Most expect Albert to show up next week, mainly to avoid the fines and because continuing holding out through mandatory camp after the point has clearly been made by skipping voluntary work and continuing and making it an official hold out is a bit in bad faith.
It’s entirely possible Albert takes the hard line and doesn’t show up, hoping the Jaguars decide to simply release him, but the Jaguars get no benefit from cutting Albert at this point and actually set a bad precedent for future negotiations by doing so.
Ultimately it’s my personal belief Albert reports next week and all of this was much ado about nothing.