JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The waiting game wasn't fun for new Jaguars left tackle Branden Albert.
The veteran lineman was officially traded to Jacksonville on Thursday, but the deal - which sent a 2018 seventh-round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins - had been agreed upon weeks earlier.
The path to a completed trade featured a winding road of misinformation and confusing negotiations. Albert, 32, was continually asked about his situation and that got old pretty quickly.
“It wasn’t hard at all," Albert said in a conference call with local media.
"I just got annoyed and tired of people still asking me and telling me they wanted me to stay a Dolphin, but I had no choice. I’m not saying anything about anybody – when you are walking the streets, when you’re walking with your friends and back then everyone says they want you here, but you already know your fate. It was kind of hard, but now I know. I am excited to know where I am going. It’s announced and I can put that to rest and move on."
There will be little rest for Albert moving forward. He is expected to upgrade the team's left tackle position this season.
A former Pro Bowl selection and first round pick, Albert has a strong pedigree. He will be counted on to bring stability to the offensive line and the locker room.
His plan to accomplish both tasks is actually pretty simple.
“Just play and do what I am supposed to do," Albert said.
"Play left tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s all I can do. That’s my approach to every year I’ve played. I’m not a vocal leader. I lead by example. I keep quiet, shut my mouth and do my job and that’s who I am. I feel a little bit like last year I was actually more vocal, being outgoing but that’s last year. I’ve moved on. Me and myself is what got me here.”
Albert's faith has helped him find purpose with his new team. He believes the trade between the Dolphins and Jaguars was meant to be.
“Because I am a man of faith, I am a man of fate and for someone to trade for me and somebody to still have faith in me and a team in Jacksonville, they took a risk with me and they said they wanted to make a trade," Albert said. 'This is the destination where God put me.”
Albert started his career with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008. After having some time to reflect on his new opportunity with the Jaguars, he has found parallels between his tenure in Kansas City and the promise that awaits in Jacksonville.
"I look at the roster. I look at the team. I look at the situation. I look at Jacksonville as a city, a place – they love football there," Albert said. "That is where I started my career in a place like that in Kansas City. That is where I am going. I prospered being in Kansas City, having my best years, and that is where I’ll have my main focus and Jacksonville, for me, is a place where I can hone in and concentrate on football and be about football.”
The Jaguars are expected to run a zone-blocking scheme under new offensive line coach Pat Flaherty. Albert believes it's a good fit for his skill set.
“Yes, it is," Albert said. "For me, throughout my career – for me, it is perfect."
Speaking of perfect, Albert also thinks his new boss will bring the best out of him.
"[Tom Coughlin is] one of the reasons why I am over here, it’s because I am excited to play for him, someone who really sees my value," Albert said. "I appreciate that and he appreciates who I am as a football player. If you put faith in me, I am going to give you all the loyalty that I have and give you everything I have.”
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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