The Miami Dolphins had an about-face Thursday with starting left tackle Branden Albert. Just hours after the team informed Albert of his release, Miami changed its mind due to some unexpected opportunities in the trade market for Albert, according to a league source.
In other words, Albert still will not play for the Dolphins next season. But they will hold onto him longer to see if they can get something back for him instead.
Starting left tackle aren't easy to come by and Albert, when healthy, is still an above average player. Although a trade cannot be completed until March 9, a future draft pick or player in return is better than not getting anything.
The pressure now is on second-year offensive linemen Laremy Tunsil to fill the important left-tackle void Albert soon will leave behind. Drafting Tunsil in the first-round, No. 13 overall, essential made Albert's pending exit a year in the making.
Tunsil started two games at left tackle in place of Albert last season and held his own. Tunsil's other 12 starts were next to Albert at left guard. Tunsil has earned the Dolphins' confidence that, barring injury, he will be their starting left tackle for the foreseeable future. It's a calculated move that makes sense from a football standpoint. The Dolphins also will save $7.2 million in cap room once it trades or release Albert.
In addition, Miami released cornerback Ifo- Ekpre Olomu and defensive linemen Mario Williams and Earl Mitchell in cost-cutting moves Thursday.