MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As a new league year in the NFL draws closer, the trade winds are already starting to blow on the east coast of Florida.
The Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars are working on a big trade that would swap a pair of Pro Bowlers.
Last week it was reported that the Dolphins were going to release left tackle Branden Albert along with a few other players as Miami was looking to clear up space under the salary cap.
When the news got out thought, the Dolphins were contacted by Jacksonville who was interested in making a trade for the veteran lineman.
Now both teams are working to complete a deal that sends Albert to the Jags in exchange for tight end Julius Thomas.
Thomas came to Jacksonville as free agent after putting together back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns for the Broncos but never came close to the kind of numbers he put up in Denver.
That isn't terribly surprising as he went from Peyton Manning and a Super Bowl contender to Blake Bortles and the bottom-dwelling Jaguars.
But now Thomas could be getting reunited with Dolphins coach Adam Gase, who ran the offense in Denver that the 28-year-old tight end flourished in.
The trade is reportedly contingent on both players restructuring their contracts, something that it appears all parties are willing to do.
Albert's current deal runs through 2018 and pays him $8.9 million next season and $9.6 the following year.
While he's battled injuries and dealt with a wrist injury for much of last season, Albert is 32 and entering the latter stages of his career so this is more than likely his last big money contract.
Thomas' deal pays him $7.1 million in 2017, $8.6 million in 2018 and $9.1 million in 2019. The Dolphins will likely try to renegotiate those numbers
The new league year begins on March 9th so nothing can be finalized until then. Both players will also need to pass physicals with their new teams.
Albert will be in Jacksonville on Monday to meet with the Jaguars and help facilitate the trade, according to Rapoport.
Armando Salguero, who covers the Dolphins for CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald is reporting that the trade does not include Julius Thomas.
Instead, Miami would be getting a late-round draft pick in exchange for Albert.
Just after 5 p.m. on Monday Rapoport reported that Thomas was in fact being traded to the Dolphins. He does not say, however, if it is in the same deal that involves Branden Albert.
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