Despite being one of the worst franchises in all of sports for well over a decade, the Cleveland Browns do have some desirable pieces like center Alex Mack, with the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts both very interested in signing the player, although a transition tag might make it slightly difficult for them to do so.
The Browns slapping the transition tag on Mack means they can match any offer given to him by anyone, although it does open up the option of his agent crafting a contract that’s going to be very difficult for the Browns to match.
Mack, a first round draft pick in 2009 out of California, has played every single game over the last five seasons for the Browns and is considered to be one of the best centers in the game. He made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2013. He was also named to the second-team All-Pro last season.
There’s a very good chance Mack gets one of the highest contracts ever for a center on two teams that need help in their offensive line. Part of the reason the Ravens looked so inconsistent and sometimes outright awful on offense last season was their collapsing offensive line, while the Colts are still trying to build a formidable unit around Andrew Luck that will last a few years without having to make too many changes.
At the moment, it seems the Colts are probably closer to Mack and willing to pay him more than the Ravens, but these things change rather quickly. The Browns are simply waiting patiently to see what happens with Mack, probably hoping he doesn’t get an offer that’s difficult for them to match, which opens an opportunity of signing him on a long term deal later in the offseason, unless letting one of the few valuable pieces they still have slip away as well sounds like good managment to them.