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Dolphins, Jaguars closing in on Branden Albert-Julius Thomas swap, but hurdle remains

The Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars are closing in on an agreement to trade left tackle Branden Albert for tight end Julius Thomas, a source confirmed. However, work still needs to be done regarding Thomas’ contract and the Dolphins, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Albert is visiting the Jaguars on Monday to take a physical and help facilitate trade, a source tells ESPN's Adam Caplan. The Sun Sentinel was the first to report the Albert-for-Thomas trade.

Last week Miami initially planned to release Albert, who is due $8.9 million in salary next season. However, the team got unexpected opportunities in terms of trade interest when the news broke. Therefore, the Dolphins waited and explored those options.

If the trade goes through, Miami would fill a big hole at tight end, as former starters Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims struggled last season with injuries and inconsistency. Both players also are unrestricted free agents in March.

Thomas posted career-best numbers in Dolphins coach Adam Gase's system when both were with the Denver Broncos. Thomas recorded 108 receptions for 1,277 yards and 24 touchdowns during a two-year stretch with Gase as Denver's offensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014.

For Jacksonville, the team needed help at left tackle after declining to pick up Kelvin Beachum's contract option for 2017. Albert, 32, is a quality left tackle when healthy. But he has missed 13 games the past three seasons due to various injuries.