The early offseason cuts have begun, and the Miami Dolphins are now joining the party. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network and multiple reports, the Dolphins are releasing veteran left tackle Branden Albert.
Dolphins will be releasing LT Branden Albert today, source says. It's Tunsil time there. Adds an intriguing option to the tackle market.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 16, 2017
Albert started 12 games for the Dolphins this season but had one of his worst campaigns as a pro. He struggled to not just stay healthy, but when he was on the field, he was worked by opposing pass rushers.
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At 32 years old, he's nowhere near as athletic as he once was, and it showed on tape this past season. In his final game with the Dolphins, which came in the playoffs against the Steelers, fellow veteran James Harrison got the best of Albert on several occasions, which was a telltale sign that he wasn't their future at left tackle.
In his place, the Dolphins will likely start Laremy Tunsil, whom they took in the first round last year. He mostly played guard in Miami this season with the exception of a few spot starts at left tackle, but he has the experience of playing the premier position on the O-line.
Not to mention, the Dolphins save about $7.2 million by releasing Albert, who was set to count $10.6 million against the cap this season -- the third most on the roster.
In addition to releasing Albert, the Dolphins are also parting ways with defensive end Mario Williams and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, saving additional cap space this offseason.