Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Branden Albert has announced his retirement from the NFL, the team announced on Monday morning prior to practice. Albert was originally acquired via trade by the Jaguars in the offseason, the first major move under VP of football operations Tom Coughlin.
“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 statement released by Jaguars.com. “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 move comes as a total stunner to most, as the feeling was Albert would be a starter on the Jaguars offensive line at some position be it left tackle or one of the guard spots. After skipping voluntary workouts in hopes of a new contract, Albert returned when practices were mandatory as the team’s starting offensive left tackle.
With Albert’s retirement, rookie second-round pick Cam Robinson should be the team’s starting left tackle.