JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When Tom Coughlin built the Jaguars in the mid-1990s, he made Tony Boselli the franchise's first draft pick.
Coughlin prioritizes offensive tackle as a key to setting the foundation of a team. In his book, Earn the Right to Win, Coughlin writes, "We established priorities for each area. In our player development plan, for example, we set positional priorities: quarterback fist, then left tackle, right tackle, defensive end."
Less than a week after the Jaguars did not pick up the option on left tackle Kelvin Beachum, a new target for left tackle has emerged.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the Jaguars and Miami Dolphins are working on a trade in which the Jaguars would send a late round-draft pick to Miami in exchange for left tackle Branden Albert.
No deal can officially be consummated until the start of the new league year on March 9. NFL.com reported that Albert would visit the Jaguars on Monday.
If the deal becomes a reality, the Jaguars offensive line would add a key component to a major area of need. If everyone is healthy, the Jaguars line would include Albert at left tackle, A.J. Cann at one guard spot, perhaps Luke Joeckel at another, Jeremy Parnell at right tackle and Brandon Linder at center. There is a chance that Linder could move back to guard, the position he played until last season, if the Jaguars can find another option at center. Luke Bowanko is the only player on the Jaguars roster listed as a center, including Linder, who is still listed as a guard.
Albert essentially confirmed the trade, telling the Sun-Sentinel, "Why ruffle feathers when you don’t have to? It’s the business of the game. I honestly believe where I’m going to go is the right fit. It is going to be a surprise when [the terms] comes out."
The Dolphins were planning to release Albert to save salary cap space, but once that move became known publicly, the Jaguars contacted Miami and began the conversations about a potential trade. Albert, 32, was a first round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 and was signed as a free agent by the Dolphins in 2014 when he agreed to a 5-year, $47 million contract. He earned Pro Bowl selections following the 2013 and 2015 seasons.
In college at Virginia, he played guard as future first round picks D'Brickashaw Ferguson and future Jaguar Eugene Monroe played left tackle.