An intriguing development over the weekend for both Jaguars TE Julius Thomas and the Dolphins LT Branden Albert, as reports are out that both teams are looking to make a trade for each. However, the catch is that apparently both will have to renegotiate their contracts to make any deal happen.
Albert knows that he is on the outs in Miami due to A. his 2017 price tag B. He’s due a roster bonus soon C. they have his replacement in former first round pick Laremy Tunsil and D. they told Albert’s agent that he was being released last Tuesday only to have Miami hold off for now.
Also there’s this Monday update that shows Albert is clearly interested in being in Jacksonville:
— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) February 20, 2017
But, the other shoe to drop is Jacksonville needs Julius Thomas to play along. He still has three seasons remaining on his massive five year deal, is due $8.3 million in this upcoming year and most of it is guaranteed. So, the Jaguars need the 28 year old to accept a re-structure if he’s going to Miami. Otherwise they are likely releasing him before his $100,000 roster bonus is due in March. Thomas only caught 30 balls with 4 TDs in an injury plagued 2016 and clearly isn’t being kept around at that price.
The questions are these: does Thomas really want to play for the Dolphins so badly that he will accept likely significantly less? Does Julius want to test the free agent market and see what contending team may offer him the same or slightly better money on a reduced deal with it being his choice of team? Does he have any hope of coming back to the Jags at a reduced price or would he even want that?
The bottom line is that while Albert, who’s four years older, sees that the Jags need a LT and is willing to take the pay cut to stay in Florida, we don’t know what the former prized free agent TE of the 2015 free agents is thinking about this. And if he won’t play along, there will be no trade with Miami.