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Julius Thomas reportedly gets traded to Dolphins for draft pick

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Left tackle Branden Albert is not included in the trade, as previously rumored.

Jacksonville Jaguars v New York Jets Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars are trading tight end Julius Thomas to the Miami Dolphins for a late-round 2017 draft pick, according to the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero. The Jaguars signed Thomas to a long-term contract in March of 2015, but the two have now parted ways.

The trade won’t be official until March 9 at 4 p.m. ET, as ESPN’s Adam Caplan points out. Originally, it was believed that left tackle Branden Albert was going to be involved in the deal heading to Jacksonville, and the Dolphins would then move Laremy Tunsil to left tackle to replace him. But when it came down to it, Albert was left out of the swap.

According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, Thomas’ deal will look different:

Thomas’ time in Jacksonville was plagued by injury. Still, he has had extensive experience, and success, in head coach Adam Gase’s system when Gase was the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.

It was Thomas’ productivity in Denver that led the Jaguars to sign him to a five-year, $46 million contract prior to the 2015 season. Thomas finished his 2013 and 2014 seasons with 12 touchdowns each, but injuries have kept him from replicating that productivity in Jacksonville.

Thomas was sidelined with a hand injury at the start of his first season with the Jaguars, and missed the first four weeks. Over 12 games in 2015, he contributed 455 yards and five touchdowns. Last season, Thomas battled ankle and elbow injuries early in the season, and was eventually placed on injured reserve with a broken tailbone. He played in just nine games, hauling in 30 catches for 281 yards and four touchdowns.

In Miami, Thomas will try to fill the role the Dolphins hoped would be Jordan Cameron’s. Cameron, another tight end with a significant injury history, was signed by the Dolphins as a free agent prior to the 2015 season. He made it through all 16 games in 2015, but last season was limited to three games and was placed on injured reserve with a lingering concussion.

If Thomas is healthy, he can be a solid offensive weapon for Ryan Tannehill. Gase knows how to maximize Thomas’ impact if Thomas is on the field and able to contribute. Meanwhile, the Jaguars move an unproductive tight end who was set to make over $8 million next season.

What remains to be seen is whether Thomas will be able to stay healthy enough to be productive for his new team.

Julius Thomas before he became a football star