Alex Mack decided not to sign his $10 million transition tag with the Cleveland Browns in the hopes that somebody would offer him a ridiculous amount of money, and there were some rumblings that teams in need of a star interior offensive lineman would try and send him an offer. That never materialized, but the Jacksonville Jaguars recently met with Mack and decided to give send him a deal. Mack would be a massive upgrade for the Jaguars, as Brad Meester retired. They already spend more money than they should have by signing Zane Beadles to get a big upgrade at guard, so it was interesting to see how much money the Jaguars would throw at Mack, especially considering the Browns strong desire to keep him around. The Browns already lost star strong safety T.J. Ward this offseason and did not want to go 0-2 by losing arguably the game’s best center as well.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Browns “figure” to match the Jaguars deal, and a source told Schefter that they will likely do this “in no time at all”. It would be a shock for the Browns to allow Mack to leave to the Jaguars, and even owner Jimmy Haslam hinted at the Browns desire to match basically any offer sent Mack’s way.
His deal from the Jaguars is a five-year pact that would make him the highest-paid player at the position, which isn’t a surprise given how good he was last season and the fact that players generally make more money with each passing year. Mack would be the highest paid center in the league if he took the transition tag with the intent of hitting the market next offseason, so it’s not a surprise that the Browns are willing to match the Jags offer.