After nine seasons in the NFL, former Virginia offensive lineman Branden Albert has retired, according to a Jacksonville Jaguars press release. The left tackle was a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
Albert started 118 of the 120 games that he played in his career, but hadn’t played 16 games in a season since 2011. Kansas City selected him 15th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft and he played six seasons with the Chiefs and the last three with Miami. The Jaguars traded for Albert this past spring but his retirement comes before he’s played a game with Jacksonville.
The 32-year-old predominantly played left guard for the Cavaliers and was named a third-team All-American as a junior before forgoing his senior season.
“After nine seasons playing in the National Football League, I have decided to retire from the game that has given me so much,” Albert said in the press release. “I would like to thank Mr. Khan and the Jaguars organization, Mr. Ross, Joe Philbin, Dennis Hickey and the Dolphins organization and Mr. Hunt, Carl Peterson, Herm Edwards and the Chiefs organization for providing me with the opportunity of a lifetime. GOD has blessed me with so much through football that I thought would never be attainable. It’s been truly a blessing. I cherish all of the relationships and people I have encountered while playing in the NFL! Special thanks to Al Groh and the University of Virginia for giving me the opportunity for a great education and showing faith in me when no one else wanted to take a chance on me. I am truly thankful for my UVA family.
“This is such a special league and it’s been an honor and a privilege to play this sport professionally for the past nine years. I wish Coach Marrone and my Jacksonville teammates the best of luck on their journey this season. During my short stint in Jacksonville, I quickly realized that they are working incredibly hard to turn the corner and I truly believe that they will find success in the coming years. I look forward to returning to Miami, the place that I now call ‘home,’ and running my businesses, while giving back to the community. While this chapter of my life is coming to an end, my story is still going and I hope you’ll follow along. I will be furthering and finishing my education. GOD BLESS AND GODSPEED.”