Report: Browns match Jaguars' offer sheet for center Alex Mack

Apr 11, 4:16 PM

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The Cleveland Browns had five days to decide whether to match the offer sheet transition tagged center Alex Mack signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday.

In the end, they needed only a few hours to make the call.

Mack is now signed long-term to the Browns under the terms he agreed to with the Jaguars - terms that make him the highest paid center in football.

Apr 12, 8:39 PM

Alex Mack on Browns matching Jaguars' offer sheet: 'There's no bad blood'

Apr 12, 8:39 PM

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Alex Mack spent the better part of Friday in limbo, waiting to learn if the five-year, $42-million offer sheet he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars would be matched by the Cleveland Browns. 

Ultimately, the Browns decided to match the offer sheet, ensuring Mack will remain in Cleveland for at least the next two seasons. 

"It's been a long, hard road, but I'm here and I'm happy,'' Mack, the Browns' 2009 first-round pick, told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com in a phone interview Saturday. "I'm excited. I'm fired up. There's no bad blood. Now that it's done, I'm happy.''

As for reports that he wanted out of Cleveland, Mack denies that was the case.

"No,'' he said. "Contracts are tough. It's the business side of things and as a player my job is to play football, something I'm good at. I have agents (Marvin Demoff and Tim Younger) to do the business side of things, and it's not always easy, but I'm happy with where I'm at.''

Mack's deal, which makes him the highest-paid center in the NFL, includes $26 million in guaranteed money and an option to become a free agent after two years. Additionally, the Browns cannot trade him until the 2017 season, and cannot use the franchise or transition tag on him after 2015.

While he would have preferred to get a deal done before or during last season, Mack holds no grudge against Browns management for failing to do so.

"Last year wasn't bad by any mean,'' he said. "Everything was handled very well and I'm 100 percent content. That's just the business side of things. It's tough. It's a battle and that's just what it is. In terms of my opinion, no. I'm good, I'm happy to be in Cleveland, let's move forward, let's go work hard and win games.''

Feature photo courtesy of David Richard-US PRESSWIRE / Reuters

Apr 11, 1:11 PM

Alex Mack signs offer sheet with Jaguars at a reported 5 years, $42M

Apr 11, 1:11 PM

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Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack has officially signed an offer sheet with the Jacksonville Jaguars and ESPN's Adam Schefter has the details. 

The Browns now have until Wednesday to match the Jags' offer and if they opt not to, they would get no compensation from Jacksonville. 

Mack would have earned more than $10 million this year playing on the transition tag in Cleveland, but now he's guaranteed at least $26 million.  

According to Pro Football Focus, Mack ranked fourth overall in grading among centers in 2013.

Apr 10, 5:16 PM

Report: Jaguars' offer sheet to Alex Mack is for 5 years, $42M with no possibility of tag

Apr 10, 5:16 PM

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NFL Network's Ian Rapoport has the financial details regarding the offer sheet Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack is expected to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday:

FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo identifies an additional wrinkle in the deal:

What does all of this mean? Alex Mack is about to become a very rich man. Whether he gets his money from the Jaguars or Browns (who will have five days to match the offer sheet) remains to be seen.

Apr 9, 10:43 PM

Report: Jaguars offer sheet to Alex Mack does not include 'balloon payment'

Apr 9, 10:43 PM

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have reportedly agreed to terms on a five-year offer sheet with Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack, though the deal has not yet been signed. Once Mack does put pen to paper, the Browns will have five days to decide whether or not to match the contract; they have that right because of placing the transition tag on Mack.

It may be difficult to match for Cleveland, based on the way the deal is structured. While terms are not yet known, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting some details of the contract Mack is expected to sign. First and foremost the deal does not appear to include a huge "balloon payment" in 2015.

Many expected a large second-year payout would be part of the deal and that Mack would only agree to a restructuring with the Jaguars, making it more likely the Browns would not match the offer. Instead, the contract will pay between $18 and $20 million over the first two years, at which point Mack will have the option to void the deal.

According to Florio, the Jaguars see it as a "50-50" chance that Cleveland will match the offer. 

Mack seems to prefer playing in Jacksonville, but the reported structure of the deal may actually make it more likely the Browns match. Cleveland was already willing to pay him over $10 million this season (the amount he would have received under the transition tag) and would get at least one more year of service out of Mack before he could void the deal.

The question then becomes would the Browns want to keep a player on their roster who would rather not be there? There's no easy answer, but Cleveland will have to come up with one before too long.

Apr 9, 4:34 PM

Report: Jaguars to sign Alex Mack to 5-year offer sheet

Apr 9, 4:34 PM

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have been in deep talks with Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack, and it appears as if Jacksonville will try to force the hand of the Browns.

Because the Browns placed the transition tag on Mack, they have the ability to match any offer he accepts. It's been previously reported Cleveland would attempt to match any deal, and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam hinted at the fact they would keep Mack in Cleveland for as long as possible Tuesday night.

Mack was made the 21st overall pick by the Browns in the 2009 draft and has started all 80 games since coming to Cleveland. He's a two-time Pro Bowler (including last season) and would be another huge addition to a rebuilt Jaguars offensive line that already added former Denver Broncos guard Zane Beadles in free agency.

According to Schefter, Mack would prefer the Browns not match the offer and allow him to play in Jacksonville. He was reportedly displeased by Cleveland not offering him a long-term contract.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Netowrk reports Mack and the Jaguars have agreed to the terms of the deal, though it has not yet been signed.

Apr 6, 3:48 PM

Report: Browns would match guaranteed money offered to C Mack

Apr 6, 3:48 PM

The Cleveland Browns are reportedly willing to spend big in order to retain center Alex Mack, according to NBC's Pro Football Talk.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been rumored to be the most interested in the 28-year-old's services and are reportedly willing to offer Mack $22 million over three years.

Mike Florio's source with knowledge called assumptions that the Browns wouldn't match such a deal as "nuts" and that they would match the offer "in a second."

His source also went on to say that Mack would be an "idiot" to sign an offer sheet and should instead sign the transition tender, where he would make a guaranteed $10 million. 

He would then be able to test the open market the following year.

“[The Browns] hope some dumb team can sign him, they match and have him long term...The only way to keep him long term is match someone else’s deal,” the source said.

Apr 5, 5:11 PM

Report: Jaguars in talks with Browns transition tag C Alex Mack

Apr 5, 5:11 PM

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An offseason filled with many twists and turns with regards to player movement could still have some surprises in store.

First reported by Alfie Crow of the SB Nation blog Big Cat Country, and later confirmed by FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo, the Jacksonville Jaguars recently met to discuss a deal with Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack. 

The Browns designated Mack as their transition tag player earlier this offseason. Mack has yet to sign his tender.

Mack is free to sign an offer sheet with another team. If he does, the Browns will have five days to decide whether to match the offer.

The transition tag guarantees Mack a deal worth $10 million from the Browns, which is an awful lot of money for a center (even one as good as Mack). The Browns have plenty of cap space to match any offer Mack receives, so the Jaguars likely would have to reach a deal with Mack worth well in excess of $10 million per season in order to steal him away. 

Mar 14, 10:12 AM

Browns C Alex Mack not 'in any hurry' to sign transition tag

Mar 14, 10:12 AM

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Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack figured to be one of the top offensive free agents before the team used their transition tag on him. Despite a tender at over $10 million, it doesn't appear Mack is planning to put pen to paper with Cleveland anytime soon.

Mack's agent, Tim Younger, said his client isn't in a rush to sign the tender with the Browns before July 22. 

"Alex is willing to be patient and play the process out,'' Younger told cleveland.com. "He's not in any hurry to sign the transition. He's going to take his time.''

Younger added that Mack is hoping to gather information on his options and will still make visits with other teams about the potential of signing a long-term deal. 

"Alex just wants to take his time and collect all of the information he can,'' said Younger. "We do anticipate Alex making visits -- but he's not in any hurry to do so either."

The Browns would have five days to match an offer from another team but if they choose not to do so, they would get nothing in return because of the transition designation. 

Mar 11, 11:32 AM

Report: Ravens could try to lure Browns transition tag player Alex Mack

Mar 11, 11:32 AM

The Baltimore Ravens are widely reported to be nearing a contract extension with left tackle Eugene Monroe as the NFL's free agency period approaches.

If the two parties can't reach a deal, however, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says the Ravens could alter course in a dramatic way. 

The Browns designated Mack as their transition tag player a week ago, guaranteeing him a salary of more than $10 million - the NFL's highest for a center.

The transition tag leaves the Browns vulnerable, however. Mack is free to sign offer sheets with other teams, and the Browns must choose whether to match any such offers.

It's unclear how the Ravens could come to terms with Mack on a deal the Browns can't match, as Rapoport suggests, but perhaps we'll soon find out what Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has up his sleeve.

Mar 3, 11:36 PM

Transition tag could make Browns' Alex Mack highest-paid center in NFL

Mar 3, 11:36 PM

Alex Mack is set to become the highest-paid center in the NFL thanks to the transition tag the Cleveland Browns used on him Monday.

Browns head coach Mike Pettine met with Mack in California to discuss the future, and Pettine came away from that discussion thinking the transition tag was the best way forward.

"He’s an outstanding player," Pettine told reporters about Mack. "We want him to be a Cleveland Brown for a long time. The [transition tag] will allow us the opportunity to potentially do that."

That opportunity is not coming cheap, however. The tag guarantees Mack a salary of over $10 million if no other team makes an offer that Cleveland refuses to match - $2 million more than Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil, who earns $8 million per season.

Committing to Mack left Cleveland without the resources to apply a franchise tag to T.J. Ward, who will be available as a free agent if the Browns cannot negotiate a new contract by March 11. Pettine did not seem worried about the possibility of losing Ward - a Pro Bowl safety.

"I wouldn’t read into it," Pettine said. "It only eliminates the ability to have tagged him. He’s an outstanding player and he’s a Cleveland Brown and we’ll make the decision for what’s best for him moving forward."

In a week's time, it won't be Cleveland's decision to make.

Mar 3, 3:49 PM

Report: Browns apply transition tag on Alex Mack

Mar 3, 3:49 PM

The Cleveland Browns aren't one for the conventional, and they're reportedly set to continue that tradition by using their transition tag on center Alex Mack.

Specifically, the Browns have seven days to match any offer sheet, according to the Boston Globe's Ben Volin. Or maybe it's five days, as NFL.com's Ian Rapoport claims. Does anyone really know how this thing works?

Well, what we do know is that the seldom-used transition tag is valued at $10 million, and it's first time in that the Browns have ever used the tag since it came into existence in 1994. Furthermore, by using the transition tag instead of the franchise tag, Cleveland saves about $1 million on Mack.

The move also guarantees that T.J. Ward will become a free agent on March 11 barring any deal that's agreed upon before then.

Mar 3, 1:44 PM

Report: Browns met with Alex Mack to get him 'acquainted with the new front office'

Mar 3, 1:44 PM

It seems the Cleveland Browns want to hold on to center Alex Mack, while Alex Mack wants to remain with the Cleveland Browns. 

Reaching an agreement should be simple enough under such circumstances and the franchise has more than enough cap space to work with. However, the Browns' front office reportedly still feels the need to mend the fences from the old regime.

There have been indications that Cleveland would also be willing to franchise Mack if they were unable to agree on a new deal, but re-signing appears to be the more likely outcome here.

If Mack were to explore free agency, he could likely command something in the range of the NFL's highest paid center Ryan Kalil, who signed a six-year, $49 million deal with the Carolina Panthers in 2011.

Feb 17, 1:55 PM

Report: Browns trying to re-sign C Alex Mack, S T.J. Ward

Feb 17, 1:55 PM

The Cleveland Browns are hoping to re-sign two Pro Bowlers before they hit free agency next month. 

ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi is reporting that new Browns GM Ray Farmer has listed center Alex Mack and safety T.J. Ward as top priorities before they land on the open market March 11. 

Mack, 28, has not missed a game since being selected in the first round in 2009 and was named to his second Pro Bowl in 2013. 

Ward, 27, also found himself at the 2013 Pro Bowl after starting all 16 games last season, finishing with 123 tackles and two interceptions. Ward is ranked third on theScore's top free-agent cornerback/safeties list.

Grossi indicates that the Browns could franchise either player if they are unable to agree to a new deal. 

Dec 27, 2:26 PM

Browns center Mack hopes days with team not over

Dec 27, 2:26 PM

BEREA, Ohio - Browns center Alex Mack says it would be easy for him to re-sign with Cleveland, as long as the team wants him back.

Mack, who has not missed a single snap in his five seasons with the Browns, is eligible for free agency this winter. The former first-round pick said he enjoys his teammates and coaches. He's made the most of playing in Cleveland despite the team's continued struggles.

Mack said Friday that he has considered that this Sunday's game in Pittsburgh could be his final one in the Browns-Steelers rivalry.

Mack isn't the only high-profile Browns player who could be elsewhere in 2014. Safety T.J. Ward is also eligible for free agency and linebacker D'Qwell Jackson is due a $4 million roster bonus in March. Jackson said he would be ''absolutely'' shocked if he wasn't with the Browns next season.