With the changes in the Browns‘ front office this offseason, the status of Alex Mack‘s free agency has wavered back and forth. While Mack was once unlikely to remain with the team, Nate Ulrich of the Beacon Journal writes that the Browns are focused on re-signing their center. The team would like to do so without having to use the franchise tag, which would carry a price tag of over $11MM for an offensive lineman. Here are other notes from the AFC North:
- The Bengals would like to retain both left tackle Anthony Collins and safety Taylor Mays, writes Joe Reedy of the Enquirer. They also would like to be able to bring back both players on long term deals without having to exercise the franchise tag.
- The Ravens and tight end Dennis Pitta are reportedly “far apart” in contract negotiations, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The Ravens could franchise Pitta if a long-term contract is not agreed upon, but there will be contention over whether Pitta is considered a tight end or wide receiver, much like the situation with Jimmy Graham in New Orleans.
- Many draft pundits have the Steelers selecting Louis Nix of Notre Dame with the 15th overall pick, but it could be a reach according to Alan Robinson of TribLive.com. Nose tackle Steve McLendon only played a third of the Steelers’ defensive snaps in 2013, but Robinson does look to advanced stats to see that McLendon was better than he was thought to be.