The Jaguars and center Alex Mack met last night and it may not be long before Jacksonville extends an offer sheet to the restricted free agent. League sources tell Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer that if both sides feel it’s a good fit, the Jaguars will make a pitch to take the Pro Bowler away from the Browns. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (via Dan Hanzus of NFL.com) hears from a pair of sources that the two sides continue to talk about a potential deal.
Jacksonville has a significant void at center following the exit Brad Meester, who retired after 14 seasons with the team. Mack, 28, represents the very best available option at the position and would fortify the Jaguars’ offensive line for 2014 and beyond. By the same token, losing Mack would leave the Browns with a sizable hole in the middle. If Mack signs an offer sheet with the Jags, or any other club, Cleveland will have five days to match.
As the Browns’ transition player, Mack would make a little more than $10MM in 2014 if he stays put. The Browns could have kept him out of reach from other clubs with the franchise tag, but that would have called for a $11.6MM salary in ’14. The Browns have an estimated ~$31MM of cap space which should give them the financial flexibility to match an offer sheet.