Miami Dolphins cut Mario Williams, hold off on Branden Albert

Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Two former first-round draft picks could still be on the job hunt this offseason.

Four-time Pro Bowl selection and 2014 All-Pro Mario Williams and two-time Pro-Bowl selection Brandon Albert were allegedly cut Thursday by the Miami Dolphins, according to multiple reports.

The Miami Herald reported later in the day that the Dolphins decided not to cut Albert.

"Although the team had made a decision to release the 32-year-old veteran, spoke to him Thursday morning to break the news, and Albert told his agents he was out, the plans changed sometime Thursday afternoon," Armando Salguero wrote for the Herald.

Salguero suggested that the Dolphins are hanging onto Albert because there is "sudden interest" from at least one team in acquiring the offensive lineman.

When the Dolphins released its official transaction list Thursday, it listed Earn Mitcherll, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, and Williams as its roster cuts.

The duo of Albert and Williams had dwindling performances in South Florida during the 2016 season. Cutting Albert would save the Dolphins $7.2 million against the salary cap. Williams' departure saves the Dolphins $8.5 million.

Williams had just 1.5 sacks last season. He was a healthy scratch in the Dolphins' Week 17 contest. The No. 1 pick in the 2006 NFL Draft effectively lost his job to Andre Branch last season.

Albert started 12 games in 2016. He has never played a full season during his three years in Miami, starting 35 of a possible 48 games. But he did make the Pro Bowl in 2015 as a member of the Dolphins.

The ascension of rookie Laremy Tusnil could make a move easier for the Dolphins. Tunsil impressed the franchise while playing left guard last season. He was a first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Now Tunsil is expected to move back to left tackle while the Dolphins try to find a guard on its offensive line.

Albert should have plenty of suitors, but Williams' career is on the downtick. The defensive end had 38 sacks from 2012 through 2014, but has just 6.5 sacks in 28 games since.
Alex Butler


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