Surprising retirement clears way for Cam Robinson to start as rookie for Jacksonville Jaguars – Jacksonville Jaguars News

Surprising retirement clears way for Cam Robinson to start as rookie for Jacksonville Jaguars – Jacksonville Jaguars News

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Branden Albert announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, opening a clear path for rookie Cam Robinson to start this season.

The Jaguars obtained Albert on March 9 from the Miami Dolphins for a seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. A nine-year veteran with 118 NFL starts and two Pro Bowl invitations, Albert was expected to be Jacksonville’s left offensive tackle in 2017.

But the Jaguars used the second pick of the second round of the NFL Draft on April 28 to add Robinson, a three-year starter at left offensive tackle for Alabama and the winner of the 2016 Outland Trophy as the nation’s best collegiate interior lineman.

With Albert and Robinson on the roster, Jacksonville observers speculated Robinson would start his NFL career as a guard in Jaguars coach Doug Marrone’s quest to put the team’s five best offensive linemen on the field at the same time.

But Marrone never said Robinson was anything but a left tackle.

“Right now, we have him at left tackle,” Marrone said of Robinson on the eve of the first training-camp practice last week. “We haven’t talked about (moving Robinson). We have had major discussions of how do we want to get to know what the best five are. We haven’t discussed anything else except left tackle.”

Albert skipped all of Jacksonville’s offseason program except the three days of mandatory minicamp while trying to get a new contract. Albert was due to be paid $8.875 million for the 2017 season and $9.575 million for the 2018 season. None of that money was guaranteed, though, and the Jaguars could have released Albert before the season without…

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