JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars are placing offensive tackle Branden Albert on the reserve/retired list, which means the team retains its rights to Albert if he should return to the field.
Albert’s contract will be paused the moment the team notifies the NFL office. He still owes the Jaguars two more seasons — with salaries of $8.875 million and $9.575 million — and the team has the first option for Albert’s services if he does decide to play again.
“Reserve/retired. That’s it,” Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin said. “That’s all I have to say about it. There’s nothing really to say.”
Welcoming Branden Albert back would be hypocritical of the Jaguars
The Jaguars are trying to build a culture of unity and accountability, so they shouldn’t take Branden Albert back if the retired OL wants to return.
If he unretires and the Jaguars decide they no longer want him, Albert would go through the waiver process and become a free agent should no team claim him. Any team that claimed him would be on the hook for the final two years of his contract.
Because he is a vested veteran, Albert’s 2017 salary would become fully guaranteed if he were on a team’s 53-man roster by Tuesday of the first week of the regular season.
Albert, 32, had wanted a new contract since the Jaguars acquired him from Miami in March in exchange for a 2018 seventh-round draft pick. He did not participate in the Jaguars’ voluntary offseason conditioning program and organized team activities because he wanted a contract that included guaranteed money. General manager Dave Caldwell, however, said in April that the Jags were not reworking Albert’s deal.
Albert participated in the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp in mid-June and reported for training camp with the rest of the team’s veterans on July 26. He participated in the first three practices and was in the facility working out on fourth day of camp.
On July 31, Albert walked into coach Doug Marrone’s office and said he was retiring. The Jaguars placed Albert on the exempt/left team list, which gave him a five-day window to return to the team. Four days later, Albert approached the team about returning to the NFL at a later date.
The Jaguars said team officials met with Albert on Monday and agreed to place him on the reserve/retired list. A league source told ESPN on Monday night that it is unlikely that Albert will ever play for the Jaguars again.