Before the beginning of the new league year, there is always a purge of veterans from rosters. The Miami Dolphins are no different, and on Thursday they released a slew of fairly big-name guys in order to free up cap space.
But one name was notably absent from the NFL transaction wire. Offensive lineman Branden Albert, who was told that he was getting cut as part of a large group of vets, wasn’t actually cut by the Dolphins.
Former No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams, signed last offseason by Miami, was released in the group along with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Albert was told he would be released on Thursday, according to the Miami Herald, but then he didn’t appear on the NFL’s transaction report.
Mitchell, Williams, Ekpre-Olomu and a slew of reserved/retired guys — including former running back Arian Foster — are all on the list. No Albert though.
According Armando Salguero of the Herald, it’s because there is a “sudden and significant interest from at least one and perhaps other teams in acquiring Albert” through a trade.
But this news doesn’t indicate Albert is going to stick around. He’s going to be somewhere else, with the Dolphins trying to clear up salary cap space (Albert has a cap hit of $10.7 million, and designating him a post-June 1 cut would free up nearly $9 million, or $7.2 million regardless).
So here’s the catch: everyone knows that Albert was going to get cut, because the Dolphins, you know, told Albert they were cutting him.
Then they didn’t cut him. Which means a team interested in Albert has to be willing to pay his salary (versus what he might cost in free agency, which would theoretically be cheaper) and give up a draft pick.
It’s an odd way to approach the transaction, to say the least.
Dolphins tell a veteran starter they’re cutting him then don’t actually cut him – CBSSports.com