The Miami Dolphins have left tackle Branden Albert under contract but that could change in the next few weeks.
Across the NFL in the last 24 to 48 hours a list of left tackles who were not impending free agents are now soon to be free agents as their teams have declined options and bonuses. Ryan Clady is set to join Matt Kalil, Andrew Whitworth, Riley Reiff, and Kelvin Beachum in free agency. Russel Okung of the Broncos could soon be joining them as well.
So how does this help a team like the Dolphins who are not in need of a left tackle? Because they have two left tackles on their roster and both are starting caliber. That gives the teams not only an option but some leverage as well.
Albert, 32, has two more years left on his contract. He will collect $10.6 million this year and a release would save the Dolphins over $7 million with just over $3 miillion in dead space. That number drops to just over $1 million in 2018, Albert’s final year of his deal.
Focus for Miami however is on Laremy Tunsil who is set to take over outside when Albert leaves. The Dolphins have a couple of option here. They could release Albert and move Tunsil outside this year, something we will discuss in an article later this morning, or they can move Albert inside to guard or to right tackle, or restructure his contract.
The Dolphins hold some leverage given the fact that they have A:) Albert’s replacement on the roster and B:) the free agent market is filling up with starting left tackles. Which means that if Albert is released his market value may suffer given the competition for work.
Miami has not made any suggestions or given any hints on their plans for Albert so this is nothing more than speculation given the situation Miami has with Albert and Tunsil. It would be interesting to see how Albert would do at right tackle with a pay restructure and then allow Ja’Wuan James to work inside at guard. He has not been very solid at RT.
Of course the Dolphins may simply keep things the way they are in regards to the left side of the line and by doing so they will keep a strong left side in tact but eventually, Albert is going to leave the team and his injury history and back issues should be a concern as well. My has more options at their disposal than they had earlier and should take advantage of them to see what they can do with that $10.6 million cap hit.