One of the only slightly negative things that seems to be brewing for the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason has been the absence of OT Branden Albert. If you recall, the team traded for Albert in which pretty much became a draft pick swap that would send TE Julius Thomas to the Miami Dolphins.
Since the trade Albert hasn’t shown up to any Jaguars activities and his communication with the franchise has been minimal at best. What Albert is doing is trying to gain leverage in his contract. With OTAs coming up, there is now a strong possibility that Albert may not be present. What would this mean for the Jaguars? Really not much.
OTA’s are optional, meaning that the players aren’t contractually obligated to show up. Of course not showing up always for some reason makes people forget what the “O” stand for in OTAs. Obviously teams want to use as much time together as possible and OTAs are important for that. With that said Branden Albert missing OTAs is really not a huge deal for the Jaguars.
In reality, the Jags hold most of the advantage in this stand off. The team selected OT Cam Robinson in the 2nd round of the draft. They have already stated that Robinson will be competing for the left tackle position, which is where the Jags wanted to play Albert when they traded for him. Which means the team has a young rookie, who’s energized that ought to push Albert in some way shape or form.
Contract situations are sticky, but the true marker for a real hold out will be during training camp. Right now we don’t know if Albert will hold out. He’s not really in position to do that, because of Robinson being there to potentially win the LT role.
The ball is in Branden Albert’s court right now, and he doesn’t have much space to operate. If I were a betting man, the team will settle the stand off and Albert will be padded up come training camp.