Branden Albert changes his mind about playing for Jaguars

Branden Albert changes his mind about playing for Jaguars

Last week, it appeared the Jacksonville Jaguars were ready to turn the page on the long and storied Branden Albert era when the failed trade acquisition made a decision to shockingly retire in the middle of training camp.

Albert skipped the Jaguars' entire offseason conditioning program and organized team activities, which was his right under the collective bargaining agreement because they are voluntary workouts.

It was never completely clear why Albert chose to walk away after nine National Football League seasons, but it appears he doesn't want to play in Jacksonville. None of that money was guaranteed, which is why he wanted a new contract. But, there was one problem: if Albert did retire, he'd have to give back $3.4 million to Jacksonville. They can trade him to another team, keep him or release him.

Cam Robinson, the Jaguars' second-round pick (34th overall) appeared to be the better player and nearly certainly would have won the starting job anyway.

It's equally unclear why Albert wants to return.

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The Jaguars will play their first preseason game on Thursday against the New England Patriots. He also is subject to fines of up to $40,000 per day for the time he was not with the team, according to NFL.com.

The Jaguars acquired Albert from the Miami Dolphins in March, with tight end Julius Thomas going in the other direction.

Albert was the 15th overall pick by Kansas City in 2008.

The former first-round pick started 12 games for the Dolphins in 2016.

Fast-forwarding to the 2017 free-agency period, the Jags then elected not to retain offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum - and looking back, that seems to be a very questionable move now that Albert has retired. However, he struggled to stay healthy in his three years in Miami.

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