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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Branden Albert abruptly retired Monday, ending his NFL career after nine seasons and two Pro Bowls.
Albert called it quits following three training camp practices and a brief discussion with coach Doug Marrone.
"He came in and told me that he was talking about retirement," Marrone said. "And then my mind goes on to the next thing, like, 'OK, we've got to get ready for practice.'"
Albert is the fifth NFL player to retire in the past week, following New England defensive end Rob Ninkovich, Baltimore offensive lineman John Urschel, New England receiver Andrew Hawkins and Denver safety David Bruton Jr.
The Jaguars acquired the 32-year-old Albert in a trade with the Miami Dolphins in March, giving up a seventh-round draft pick in 2018 that Jacksonville now gets back because Albert failed to be on the 53-man roster for at least three regular-season games.
Albert skipped most of Jacksonville's offseason program because he wanted a new contract. He was scheduled to make $8.8 million in 2017 and $9.5 million in 2018.
He reported for training camp last week and spent the first three days of practice splitting first-team repetitions with rookie Cam Robinson, a second-round draft pick from Alabama who now likely will get the job by default.
"I was just as surprised as everyone else," Robinson said. "I had no idea, so I wish him the best and whatever. Great guy. Learned a lot from him in just the little time he was here."
Albert played in college at Virginia and was the 15th overall pick by Kansas City in 2008. He spent his first six seasons with the Chiefs and then signed a five-year, $47 million deal with the Dolphins in 2014. He made the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2015. Albert started 118 of 120 career games.
"I look forward to returning to Miami, the place that I now call home and running my businesses while giving back to the community," Albert said. "While this chapter of my life is coming to an end, my story is still going and I hope you'll follow along."
Albert missed 20 games over the last five seasons, including seven in 2014 because of a knee injury. Albert bounced back the following year and was honored with Miami's Ed Block Courage Award.
"Tremendous football player, even better man," Dolphins defensive end and former teammate Cameron Wake said. "One of the guys who we always go back and forth (with on the field). I think we looked up to one another as far as being in the game for as long as we have and going through the things we had to to stay at the top for as long as we could.
"For him to be able to be able to have the career that he had and also be able to bow out on his own terms, my hat is off to him and I wish him the best."
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