Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack still hasn’t signed his $10 million transition tag in the hopes that somebody will poach him with an offer that he can’t pass up, as the team poaching him would have to give an offer that the Browns can’t afford to match. The center-needy Jacksonville Jaguars upgraded the guard spot by overpaying for Zane Beadles, but they still need to replace retired center Brad Meester, who is ticketed for the Ring of Honor. They are showing significant interest in Mack, and it looks like they are prepared to give him an offer sheet after recently visiting with him.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio recently spoke with a league source about the Jaguars impending offer for Mack, and the source told PFT that the Browns would match a deal worth $22 million in guaranteed money over three seasons. It was reported last night by the Florida Times-Union’s Ryan O’Halloran that the Jaguars would have to offer Mack at least $22 million in completely guaranteed cash over three seasons in order for the deal to be structured so that the Browns would not take the deal.
That seems like an awful lot of money at face value, and it certainly is. Mack is an elite center and a player the Browns would love to keep, but it’s clear that the Jaguars covet him. The source added to Florio that the Browns already have to spend $10 million in guaranteed money in 2014 due to the transition tag, so the $22 million really turns into $12 million. Of course, O’Halloran reported last night that the Jaguars would have to give at least $22 million in guaranteed cash, so we’ll see how much the Jaguars are willing to spend on the star center.
A final interesting note is the source’s thoughts on what Mack should do, as he believes it wouldn’t be wise for Mack to take the $22 million in guaranteed money. Instead, he believes Mack should sign the transition tag and put himself in a position to get paid major bucks next year, especially since he would get $12 million if tagged again next year. For those of you keeping score, that’s $22 million in two seasons. Mack reportedly wants to sign a short-term deal so that he can get another big payday in the prime of his career, so this is something to watch for closely. It honestly sounds like Mack wants to leave and get paid big bucks by the Jaguars, but he might be better off signing the tag this year in order to rake the dough next offseason.
This saga is definitely captivating, and we haven’t heard the last opinion on it yet.