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Report: Jags will sign Alex Mack to an offer sheet by Friday

Mack Getty Images

The Jaguars apparently are going all in.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Jags will sign center Alex Mack to a five-year offer sheet.  Mack, who has been given the transition tag by the Browns, can sign an offer sheet with any other team.  The Browns will have five days to match.  If the Browns don’t match, they get no compensation.

Per Schefter, the offer sheet will be “designed to make it as difficult as possible” for the Browns to match.  Without the availability of the so-called poison pill device, there’s no way that the Jaguars can construct an offer that would be on its face more painful for the Browns than it would be for the Jaguars.  Whatever the bonuses, salaries, guarantees, and cap numbers would be for the Browns, that’s what they would be for the Jaguars.

Agent Marvin Demoff has expressed confidence that an offer sheet could be constructed that the Browns wouldn’t match.  While that may have been possible with a shorter-term deal, it will be very difficult to craft a five-year contract that will be acceptable to the Jaguars but not to the Browns.

The only possible loophole comes from a wink-nod arrangement between the Jaguars and Mack, involving a device like (as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports hinted earlier today) a mammoth balloon payment early in the 2015 league year.  The high cap number would need to be spread over the remaining four years as a signing bonus.  But if Mack tells the Browns that he’d never agree to restructure the contract in Cleveland, the Browns would have to choose between carrying a huge cap number in 2015 or cutting him.

In Jacksonville, Mack could agree in 2015 to convert the balloon payment to a signing bonus, shrinking the cap number dramatically.

Mack, Demoff, and the Jaguars would be able to truthfully say that no agreements have been reached in 2014 regarding what will happen in 2015.  And no agreements need to be reached.  It’s no secret that Demoff and the Jaguars are trying to conjure an offer sheet the Browns won’t match.  Perhaps the only way to do that is to include a term that, absent a restructuring, would be unacceptable to both teams.  It will be implied that Mack would restructure the contract for the Jaguars, and not for the Browns.

It’s a creative approach, but it could provoke a strenuous objection from the Browns.  Which could spice up what would otherwise be a slow week or two in advance of the draft.

Regardless of how it plays out, the day on which a fictional drama about the Browns debuts could include some far more intriguing real-life drama for the franchise.

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40 Responses to “Report: Jags will sign Alex Mack to an offer sheet by Friday”
  1. tolan04 says: Apr 9, 2014 4:43 PM

    Cleveland should be embarrassed that a player would rather play for the jaguars. I’m a bills fan and I feel bad.

  2. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Apr 9, 2014 4:43 PM

    I just found a reason to like the Jaguars a little

  3. tcostant says: Apr 9, 2014 4:45 PM

    Or they could just over pay him.

  4. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Apr 9, 2014 4:45 PM

    Time to see if how the Browns respond now that the rubber meets the road on all their prior Mack bluster.

  5. thepftpoet says: Apr 9, 2014 4:45 PM

    Hmmm the Browns and the Jaguars.

    That’s like choosing between whether you want to die drowning or die suffocating.

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 9, 2014 4:45 PM

    Mack is going to end up costing more than it would have cost the Jags to resign Eugene Monroe, one of the top left tackle’s in the league. Who is two years younger as well.

    ????

  7. tavisteelersfan says: Apr 9, 2014 4:45 PM

    He is a Center for crying out loud.

    The Steelers love centers and have had Hall of Famers at that spot. They are pretty high on the young fellow Pouncey. But, fact is, when Pouncey went down in Game 1, we picked up a guy off the scrap heap, Fernando Velasco, and it was OK, no big crisis.

    Don’t blow your wad on a Center.

  8. SeattleJones says: Apr 9, 2014 4:45 PM

    Good to see the Jags trying to make some noise. The Seahawks see them as our little brother now. Thar be hawk blood down there now. Believe it or not, but you may one day see a Jags dynasty after the current core in the hawks dynasty breaks up in several years.

  9. ballerstatus2014 says: Apr 9, 2014 4:48 PM

    Wow Alex Mack what’s wrong with you? You say you want to play in a winning culture, but look at the Jags! I have a feeling actually playing football comes second to you.

  10. smartanis says: Apr 9, 2014 4:49 PM

    Never before has the possible transfer of a center from one terrible franchise to a second, slightly-less terrible franchise generated this much excitement.

  11. bucksnknucks says: Apr 9, 2014 4:49 PM

    It’s not about Jags vs Browns, Mack just wants to feel like he’s wanted and be treated like an elite free agent and this is the only team that came calling. It’s more about saving face for him than anything right now. He’ll be back in Cleveland.

  12. robseahawksfan says: Apr 9, 2014 4:50 PM

    Jags: Don’t use any poison pill-like tactics in prying Mack loose from the Browns. You’ll only invite years of negative karma like the kind being suffered by the Vikings. They used a poison pill contract in 2006 to get Steve Hutchinson, and the football gods paid them back with Favre’s throw to Tracy Porter.

  13. pooflingingmonkey says: Apr 9, 2014 4:51 PM

    If nothing else, this will drive up Mack’s price. Cleveland will be the only team in the league dedicating 10 million a year to a center.

    LOL

  14. ytownie says: Apr 9, 2014 4:53 PM

    Mack is a great team player, but Cleveland, he is not a difference maker as in QB’s and receivers. Don’t let him hold you ransom. Let him go if the offer is outlandish. If he wants to go that badly (Jags?? are you kidding me) don’t let the door hit you in the a** on your way out.

  15. christine5014 says: Apr 9, 2014 4:54 PM

    If I thought Caldwell was a genius for getting a 6th round pick for Gabbert, if he somehow pulls this off he’ll be off the charts. Hard to believe that he’s going to do this though b/c he’s going to have to overpay for this guy and that is not his MO so far. You guys keep ripping my Jags.. everyone local knows that the tide is turning and our decade of misery is at it’s end. We’re in good hands finally.

  16. afcdomination says: Apr 9, 2014 4:55 PM

    I am so impressed with what Jacksonville is doing this offseason. with a new HC, they are bringing on a strong group of players and are headed on the right track for the first time in a long time. I actually expect a good draft pick from them this year, instead of some silly reach on a player who won’t pan out in their system. Dan Quinn is legit, and I dislike the Colts enough to start rooting for Jacksonville to turn it around

    the browns wanted this to happen. either a cheaper deal he signs and they match, or a deal is over the top too much and they have to move on and claim it was Mack’s decision to do so, when really they made it so their All Pro Center was available for absolutely zero compensation

  17. thebrownswillalwaysloose says: Apr 9, 2014 4:55 PM

    If this is true I can’t believe this! But, I love it cause at the very least the Browns will either lose a productive player (instead of signing another teams talent for too much $) or waste a bunch of their cap for what it would take to match and keep him. Either way, win win for this AFC North rival!

  18. smokim says: Apr 9, 2014 4:55 PM

    Accepting the generous offer and coming to tax free Florida, Mack will save thousands upon thousands of dollars.

  19. deezenucks says: Apr 9, 2014 4:55 PM

    That would be a huge signing. If the jags draft well there gonna be pretty competitive for years and people will be so confused..

  20. torpedo8 says: Apr 9, 2014 4:55 PM

    Alex said it was important to him to play for a team with a strong fan base. So maybe that was just talk. Jags are 28th in attendance and relocation is a common rumor that surfaces every year.

    I guess if he wants out THAT badly, let him go. It’s not worth the locker room poison of an unhappy player.

    Then I’d have the league hold the Jags to that contract – unless fraud is the future of nlf negotiations. In which case, what does it matter who promises what to who?

  21. afcdomination says: Apr 9, 2014 4:56 PM

    gus Bradley-

  22. ajgreenhof says: Apr 9, 2014 4:59 PM

    Browns or Jaguars?

    Would you rather get punched in the gut or the face?

  23. jaxbeachjagfan says: Apr 9, 2014 5:03 PM

    These are not the same old Jags. Khan has hired Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley to remake this team from the inside out.

    Jags will be a force in a year or two. Go ahead and keep doubting us.

  24. phillysports1 says: Apr 9, 2014 5:04 PM

    Does that mean jaguars are drafting a QB?

  25. ballboy48 says: Apr 9, 2014 5:09 PM

    He’s a center. I have a feeling Cleveland keeps saying they are going to match any offer, because they are trying to squeeze every penny out JAX that they can, and make them overpay for him.

    If the Jags want to break the bank, and blow their cap on a center, so be it. How many WR’s actually get the money he’s asking? Jacksonville is going to get bumbed by the Browns, just like they did in Draft Day.

  26. urbusted2 says: Apr 9, 2014 5:12 PM

    They can have him for that amount of money. The agent should be investigated however. The truth is the truth. A wink and a nod agreement should apply to either club.

  27. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 9, 2014 5:13 PM

    Sign a Mack – draft a Mack – let the trucks truck.

    And yes you can buy the poster in advance of the draft but no rebates, hey at least we told you.

  28. chargerdillon says: Apr 9, 2014 5:44 PM

    Another ringing endorsement for the Cleveland Browns.

    They won’t even take your money when you’re the highest bidder.

  29. titansbro says: Apr 9, 2014 6:36 PM

    I’d rather be a Brown than a Jag all things being equal. Although Jax is a pretty nice place to live.

  30. bphelps81 says: Apr 9, 2014 6:43 PM

    Jags to LA. Was this signing a sign?

  31. kev86 says: Apr 9, 2014 6:45 PM

    Tough helmet choice.

  32. indyhorsepower says: Apr 9, 2014 6:49 PM

    There is a reason certain teams consistently fail in this league over the long haul, look no further than critical decisions which make absolutely no sense: Raiders, Browns, Jacksonville–everyone knows the list, even their fans if being honest. Paying Left/Right tackle money for a center is ridiculous. Past SB winners or even conference champs show you dont need pro bowl talent at the position. Keep doing what you do though, thins the herd for the rest of us.

  33. zoxitic says: Apr 9, 2014 6:56 PM

    The transition tag move by the browns was a dumb move.

  34. pacodawg says: Apr 9, 2014 7:23 PM

    Players could care less about the team they play for. It’s all about the greenbacks. Jacksonville, really that’s a step up. Laughable

  35. sfsugator says: Apr 9, 2014 7:33 PM

    Go ahead, he’s a center break the bank, that’s why the browns are the browns and the jaguars are the jaguars.

  36. habsfanatic says: Apr 9, 2014 7:57 PM

    Here’s the thing for the Browns: it’s pretty clear that Mack doesn’t want to play in Cleveland. Do you really want to pay a player a five year contract if he really doesn’t want to be there?? Looks like Mack will end up with the Jags and that’s a big move on their part. Good things going on in Jax right now.

  37. ballboy48 says: Apr 9, 2014 8:03 PM

    To be honest, if Cleveland really doesn’t care about how much they spend on him, sign him for five years. Then trade him to JAX.

  38. doe22us says: Apr 9, 2014 8:07 PM

    That means the Jags are going to be overpaying..

  39. officialgame says: Apr 9, 2014 8:08 PM

    If Mack was a left tackle it might make sense. But he isn’t just build through the draft.

  40. bensstinkyfingers says: Apr 9, 2014 8:27 PM

    See ya Mack, If you don’t wanna be a brown, the fans don’t want you here! Take your $ enjoy losing agin for the next 5 years in front of a half empty stadium in Jacksonville, while your ex team becomes a powerhouse in the AFC North and perennial playoff contenders. Karma will take care of all the details.

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