When this offseason began, Alex Mack thought he was going to have plenty of offers. However, the transition tag the Cleveland Browns used on him did its job, and although they’re going to overpay their center in order to keep him for the long term, it was probably worth it considering the market doesn’t offer anymore better or even as good.
Still, it seems the Browns and Mack aren’t destined to be forever with each other. Mack and his agents want more money than the $10 million a season he’ll be paid by the Browns, even though most would agree he’s a bit off being someome a team would feel confident about paying so much money to for the next five or six seasons.
The general idea for Mack and his team is trying to get paid this season, but not limiting his options for 2015 and later on, hoping he’ll be worth even more in the free agency market. How is this done? Simple. Agreeing to a $10 million deal for 2014 and then adding a huge roster or signing bonus that comes into effect just before the 2015 season, which will make the Browns cut Mack, opening the option for him to find a deal for hiim on the open market. They might also make this a one-year contract with a commitment from the Browns not to use any limiting tags on Mack next season.
The Browns might overpay Mack to keep him just for one season, but that’s better than the alternative. They have a lot of cap space, and they’re not going to find someone better in the draft or what remains of the free agency market. They might be rebuilding, but even teams going through that process need to hold on to every valuable asset they have, and Mack certainly is one.
The Browns haven’t too many games with Mack over the years, which means he isn’t indispensable. However, teams coming off a 4-12 season don’t need to create more holes for themselves to fill when they have a solid player to use.