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Miami Dolphins working on trade to acquire TE Julius Thomas

By
Alex Butler
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas (80) fails to bring in a touchdown pass as Baltimore Ravens strong safety Will Hill (33) provides coverage, in the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on November 15, 2015. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas (80) fails to bring in a touchdown pass as Baltimore Ravens strong safety Will Hill (33) provides coverage, in the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on November 15, 2015. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Ryan Tannehill could have a new trusted target to toss to at Hard Rock Stadium.

According to multiple reports, the Miami Dolphins are working on a trade to send Branden Albert to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for Julius Thomas. The Dolphins had agreed to cut Albert this weekend, before deciding to hang on to him after hearing that there were teams interested in trading for the offensive tackle.

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The Jaguars are in need of a left tackle after not picking up Kelvin Beachum's team option. Thomas is a two-time Pro Bowl selection, but hasn't started more than 10 games in a season since 2013. The tight end has 76 catches for 736 yards and nine touchdowns in 21 games since the start of the 2015 season. But his arrival in Miami would be a reunion of sorts. Dolphins coach Adam Gase served as the Broncos' offensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014. During their courtship in Denver, Thomas had 108 receptions for 1,277 yards and 24 touchdowns in 27 games. The 28-year-old was a fourth-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. 'Orange Julius' is due $6 million in 2017 and is signed through 2020. If the Dolphins acquire Thomas, it will owe him $3 million of his base salary at the start of the new league year.

The NFL trade period begins on March 9. Following an initial report in the Miami Herald, NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported that there is "optimism it'll all get worked out."

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ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that there is still "a ways to go" in the trade.

Cutting Albert would have saved the Dolphins $7.2 million against the salary cap. The two-time Pro Bowl selection played just 12 games in 2016 and has yet to play a full season since his arrival in Miami. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015. Albert, 32, is due $8.8 million in 2017 and $9.5 million in 2018.

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