Branden Albert will be released by the Dolphins

Posted by    |    February 16th, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Laremy Tunsil is the left tackle of the future in Miami.

The Miami Dolphins will release veteran left tackle Branden Albert, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Laremy Tunsil is expected to take over at left tackle.

Albert had two years remaining on a five-year, $47 million contract, and he was scheduled to make $8.8 million in 2017. Cutting Albert saves the Dolphins $7.2 million of salary cap space.

Albert, a two-time Pro Bowler, was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 draft. He came to the Dolphins in 2014.

He is a quality tackle, but injuries were an issue for Albert in Miami. He missed games due to injuries in each of his three seasons with the Dolphins, and the last time Albert played a full season was 2011, while he was still with the Chiefs.

Tunsil mostly played left guard this season, but got some experience at left tackle filling in for Albert in four games while Albert was sidelined with an ankle injury, a wrist injury, and food poisoning.

Left tackle is Tunsil’s natural position, and he played well when called into action last season. Last season, Albert mentored Tunsil, who was projected to be the top tackle selected in the 2016 draft until a video of him presumably smoking marijuana through a gas mask surfaced just as the draft was about to begin. The Dolphins selected Tunsil with the 13th pick.

Albert enters the free agent market as one of several talented left tackles available. On Wednesday, the Jets declined to pick up Ryan Clady’s option, and Andrew Whitworth (Cincinnati Bengals) and Matt Kalil (Minnesota Vikings) are both free agents, as well.