Alex Mack was the subject of several PFR posts yesterday after word broke that the transition-tagged free agent would be signing a five-year offer sheet from the Jaguars. While a center doesn’t typically inspire so much discussion, there are few, if any, in the NFL better than Mack, who ranked as our sixth-best free agent heading into the offseason.
The situation developing between the Browns and Jags is particularly interesting, since there are questions about whether Cleveland could have handled the situation better — assigning the franchise tender to Mack rather than the transition tender would’ve cost the team a little more, but would’ve meant a team wanting to sign him away would’ve had to part with two first-round picks. That essentially would’ve taken the center off the open market.
Here are today’s Mack updates, as we wait for the longtime Brown to formally sign the offer from Jacksonville. Any new items will be added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- The general consensus among reporters since Mack’s contract details surfaced has been that the Browns will still likely match, despite the Jaguars’ creative structure. Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter link) hears from one source that the Browns will probably match, while another source says Cleveland should let Mack walk due to the 2016 opt-out.
- Mack’s offer sheet with the Jags will be worth $42MM over five years, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The deal is worth $18MM over the first two years, and includes a player option after the 2015 season. Because of the timing of that option, whichever team Mack is playing for at that point won’t be able to use the franchise or transition tag on him, Rapoport notes (via Twitter).
- Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports adds (via Twitter) that if Mack opts in after the second year, his $8MM salary for year three (2016) becomes fully guaranteed.
- Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears from a source that Mack’s deal with the Jaguars will indeed be executed on Friday, so the five-day clock for the Browns to match it will start tomorrow.
- Ed Werder of ESPN.com tweets that as of late last night he was hearing Mack’s offer sheet from the Jaguars may not be officially finalized and signed until Friday, which is consistent with initial reports.
- A source tells Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter link) that Mack’s offer sheet has been “reviewed, but not executed.”
- Once Mack signs the Jaguars’ offer sheet, the Browns will likely match it in “no time at all,” according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).
- Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk also hears from a league source that the Browns figure to match the offer and retain Mack. As Florio notes, the average annual value of the Jags’ sheet is less than what the Browns would pay if they kept Mack under the transition tag in 2014 and 2015, so the club can afford it.
- While much has been made of Mack’s desire to leave Cleveland, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link) believes Mack will be happy, or “overjoyed even,” to remain with the Browns if the money is right.
- Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com explains why it wasn’t a mistake for the Browns to transition Mack instead of franchising him, though much of Grossi’s explanation seems to rely on the idea that Cleveland won’t match Jacksonville’s offer. For now at least, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
- The deal Mack eventually gets will affect Mike Pouncey‘s next contract, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald outlines. The Dolphins could extend their center’s rookie contract one more year by exercising his fifth-year option, but a long-term deal will be necessary at some point.