In today’s surprise news, Jaguars offensive tackle and former Virginia football player Branden Albert announced his retirement. The announcement was made via the official Jaguars twitter account.
BREAKING NEWS: After nine seasons in the @NFL, OL Branden Albert announces retirement.https://t.co/W0rQ4PK59N— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) July 31, 2017
Here is the statement from Albert himself.
After a nine-year career with K.C. & MIA, veteran OL Branden Albert announced his retirement from the NFL today.— Tad Dickman (@Tdickman89) July 31, 2017
Here is his statement: pic.twitter.com/MLbw0h742M
The announcement came as a surprise because Albert still has two years remaining on a contract that would’ve paid him over 8 million dollars per year. The Jaguars traded for him this offseason, and were expecting him to help groom first round pick Cam Robinson. The two were competing for the starting job as training camp began.
Albert played for the Hoos from 2005 - 2007. He was initially a 2-star recruit in the class of 2004 when he committed to Al Groh. After not being eligible out of high school, Albert spent a year at Hargrave Military Academy and he came out of that as a 4-star recruit. As a true freshman, Albert started immediately at LG and remained there for three seasons, starting every game of his career. As a junior, he started twice at LT due to an injury suffered by Eugene Monroe, but otherwise remained at LG. After that years, Albert entered the NFL draft and was the 15th pick overall by the Chiefs and was immediately installed as their starting LT.
Branden was a two time Pro-Bowler, reaching those heights in 2013 and 2015 with the Dolphins. He spent the first six years of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs.
There were reports that Albert wanted a new contract with the Jaguars, but the Jaguars were not interested in negotiation with him. He skipped the team’s offseason conditioning programs and OTAs. This may have been a sign.
Albert has missed 20 games over the past five years, and the injuries may have played a role in his decision. Albert, like several others over the past few years, including fellow Wahoo OLs Eugene Monroe and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, may have decided that his long term health was more important than a few more dollars in his bank account. After all, Albert has made over 50 million dollars in his career.