Source: Browns would match $22 million guaranteed for Mack “in a second”

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In response to reports suggesting that an offer sheet to Browns center Alex Mack containing $22 million guaranteed over a three-year period could be enough to get the Browns to not match the deal, a league source with knowledge of Mack’s circumstances provided to PFT a simple assessment.

It’s “nuts,” the source said, adding that the Browns would match an offer from the Jaguars paying out $22 million over three years “in a second.”

As the source explained it, $22 million over three years would be the equivalent of the Browns giving Mack a total of $12 million guaranteed for 2015 and 2016, since they’re already on the hook for $10 million guaranteed in 2014 via the transition tag.

The source added that Mack would be an “idiot” to sign an offer sheet that guaranteed $22 million over three years, and that his better bet would be to sign the transition tender, collect $10 million this year, and hit the open market next year.

If the Browns were to use the transition tag or franchise tag next year on Mack, the price for either one would be $12 million — which means he would have made his $22 million in only two years, not three.

“The Browns will match almost anything, that’s why [the Browns didn’t use the] franchise tag,” the source said. “They hope some dumb team can sign him, they match and have him long term. . . . The only way to keep him long term is match someone else’s deal.”

Mack’s agent, Marvin Demoff, reportedly believes he can craft an offer sheet that the Browns wouldn’t match. With the poison-pill device now eliminated from offer sheets, it becomes much harder to scare a team away from matching — especially when that team has $5 million in cap space than the team considering making an offer.

40 responses to “Source: Browns would match $22 million guaranteed for Mack “in a second”

  1. Yeah this is a fascinating position for Mack, and there is no reason for him to sign unless he gets a deal that improves the strength of his financial position. This gives another team a chance to make the deal for the Browns and get them to pay possibly more than they would have paid if they could figure out how to close the deal themselves. If some team wants to risk paying a mammoth contract to a Center, then just be careful what you wish for. Mack would be a genius if he could court a team into offering him a great deal that makes the decision for Cleveland a difficult one that they have to mull over intensely.

  2. I can’t think of many things worse than being professionally handcuffed by a franchise like the Cleveland Browns.

  3. How much does a $12M insurance policy against injury cost?

    Because the “idiot” scenario above doesn’t take into account that guys have career ending injuries all the time, and never get to that second franchise tag.

  4. I support Mack’s position to get PAID but, his agent seems to have some sort of personal vendetta against the Browns. Regardless of what Mack does, I would be looking for a new agent after all of the dust settles.

  5. blowing money on non impact players who dont put up points or get takeaways. smh at the browns.

  6. Insane to pay that much for a center. Oh well just keep raising the tkt. prices.

  7. So sick of these prima donnas that complain that $10 million isn’t “good enough” for them. Mack’s a good center but at this point, I wouldn’t even care if he went somewhere else.

  8. I think Mack’s agent is blowing smoke. With the amount of cap space Cleveland has available and the flexibility granted to teams now having the ability to carry over unused cap space, the only way Cleveland doesn’t match is if they decide they don’t want to pay a center as much as another team may offer him.

  9. Mack isn’t going anywhere. His agent is trying to drive up the price. Cleveland has enough cap room to sign Mack, and extend Haden and Gordon if they want.

  10. Hey, if marvin demoff thinks he can craft an offer sheet the browns wont match, you best believe him. Demoff crafted elway to denver, so he can do anything.

  11. He’s a center. Sorry but a center is not worth that kind of money. If he wants out of cleveland that bad let him go. Have fun in Jacksonville. Browns are on the rise. Jacksonville is well,Jacksonville.

  12. If he won’t sign a long term deal before the draft, the Browns should draft a new Center with one of the 10 picks they have this year. He certainly isn’t worth 10 million a year, but they will need him this year while grooming a rookie. Keep Mack for one more year, let him walk, the league will compensate the Browns with a 3rd rounder in next years draft.

  13. Want a contract Cleveland wont match?

    5 year contract, $50 million, $20 million signing bonus, with the final 4 years voidable by the player, plus no ability to use the franchise or transition tag if contracted.

    That would mean, Mack would collect $20 million from the Browns now, could void the contract in 1 year, and become a free agent next year.

    That would give Cleveland Mack for 1 year $21 million ( after signing + 1 year salary), and a $16 million cap hit next year when Mack voids the final years of the contract.

    Only catch would be, Jacksonville better be sure Mack WANTS to be there because he could do it to them as well.

  14. @gmuck,

    Wanna explain how Cleveland is somehow an upgrade from jax? We beat you last year, ha the same record (with a known scrub team), and our rivers don’t catch on fire.

  15. Does Mack really want to be out of Cleveland or it just about money. If he just wants out, best to let him go and avoid the bad locker room presence. I also question whether he is as good as he is made out to be. If he was that good, how come the Browns couldn’t run the ball at all last year? Richburg or Stork in the 3 rd round is a better option.

  16. Steelers fan here but not interested in bashing rival teams. For those saying Mack isn’t worth $10 mil a year…think again. Cleveland has available cap space AND carry over. Means they have a higher available cap number to spend on the 2014 roster. The hidden message here is that a some point your organization needs to have stability and some type of loyalty to the good players it’s drafted. Free agents need to see that it’s a stable place to play. And they need to maximize their earning potential in the few years they are likely to play.

    All of you guys saying quit crying about $10 mil isn’t enough aren’t being truthful. If it was you in that position you would be doing the same thing. To players, the NFL is rarely about winning. No matter where you are on this earth when you’re in that income bracket you are living an insulated life in the finest neighborhoods. It’s only about the weather. Having stability in a community long term to these guys can have a much higher financial payoff for the rest of their lives. Jim Kelly in Buffalo or John Elway in Denver have made 10 times the money post retirement than they ever made playing because the fans treat them like gods. Embrace your city and they will treat you like one of their own. People who live in pittsburgh see it all the time with former players who still live here. Their businesses thrive. But take the quick money short term elsewhere and you are relentlessly booed and never welcomed back again. We’ve ALL witnessed it with our own teams…regardless of the city.

  17. robigd says:
    Apr 6, 2014 1:13 PM
    I can’t think of many things worse than being professionally handcuffed by a franchise like the Cleveland Browns.

    Probably being handcuffed to whereever you currectly work, thats if you currently work.

  18. So the only way to sign a player who doesn’t want to be there to a long term deal is to match another teams offer.
    What kind of organization traps a player like that?

  19. Do any of you realize how important a center is to the integrity & success of a team?
    They’re the brains of an offense.
    They are the least appreciated & underpaid player on the team.
    Most don’t draw attention to themselves and have no ego, they’re too intelligent for that and only want to study other team defenses.
    Most are decent guys with no history of conflicts or arrests.
    Do you know how long it takes to be a valued & smart center?

    Yeah, I’ll take Mack “in a heartbeat”, which is less than “in a second”.

  20. grruffgrruff says: Apr 6, 2014 3:29 PM

    “Do any of you realize how important a center is to the integrity & success of a team?”

    Plenty of the best offenses in the NFL have so-so centers. Mack’s been a Pro Bowl center for years, yet the offenses of the Cleveland Browns have usually been below average.

    “They’re the brains of an offense.”

    For a lot of teams, QBs (not centers) make protection calls. In addition, for all NFL teams, QBs (not centers) make pre-snap reads and call out audibles to change plays.

    QBs are the brains of the offense. That’s why the best ones get paid $20 million per year.

  21. As a Browns fan there’s alot of positive to take out of this…for new ownership to be willing to overpay for this guy for this year until they can bring in some new blood from the draft says that they are committed to putting a solid product on the field….they could have let him go and said ” thats too much for a center” and who could blame them…..with the moves their making and the draft pics they have, they are on the rise….if any team signs homeboy ten million a year, they are making a bad move….they may create a buzz and feel good at first…but will be looking to dump the contract in a year or two….so whatever Mack….hop of the bus if you want but this team is going to be good soon

  22. @casualcommenter

    Plenty of the best offenses in the NFL have so-so centers. Mack’s been a Pro Bowl center for years, yet the offenses of the Cleveland Browns have usually been below average.

    For a lot of teams, QBs (not centers) make protection calls. In addition, for all NFL teams, QBs (not centers) make pre-snap reads and call out audibles to change plays.

    QBs are the brains of the offense. That’s why the best ones get paid $20 million per year.

    Maybe that’s why you’re just a casual commenter.
    You don’t know anything…

  23. @casualcommenter

    Name a first string so-so center.
    CB offense has not been below average.
    Who gives the QB pre-snap reads?

  24. Of course his agent can craft a deal the Browns wouldn’t want to match. The problem is the Jaguars would never sign it! His agent is probably mad because the Browns probably had a verbal agreement with the last FO and the new one wants to craft their own. If the Jags even come close to the $10M, let them have him. They will only be crippling themselves.

  25. @parrothead
    Just wondering how many pro bowlers did jax have last year? Also Cleve has Gordon Cameron Tate Hawkins Thomas on off. What does jax have? Your best player on o left. On d Cleve has one of the best front 7 in the nfl. Plus on of the top 3 cb in the nfl. And don’t forget new safety whitner. How’s that jax d compare. O ya jax beat the browns 3rd string qb and a rb off the waiver wire. That was last yr

  26. A lot of denial on this page about the importance of centers.

    Alex Mack of the Browns and Mike Pouncey of the Dolphins were Pro Bowl centers this year. Tell me how the

    Meanwhile, Peyton Manning and the Broncos have used 4 different centers the past 2 seasons due to injuries, including a couple of centers who were undrafted journeymen.

    How has the Broncos offense the past 2 years been compared to the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins offenses the past 2 years?

    Gee, I guess centers don’t matter nearly as much as quarterbacks, then. Better to have a Pro Bowl QB than Pro Bowl Center.

  27. Of course a pro bowl QB (and in the case of Manning, an all time great) can overcome weaknesses of a middling center. When you are on a team that is searching for a franchise QB and, no matter how talented, they are going to be a young NFL QB, the center is even more important. Mack ain’t leaving Cleveland – no way, no how.

  28. Fun times in Cleveland again, still Cleveland!
    Come on down to Clevelandtown everyone
    Under construction since 1868
    See the river that catches on fire
    It’s so polluted that all our fish have AIDS
    Ya’ll see the sun almost three times a year
    This guy have atleast two DUI’s
    Flats look like a Scooby Doo ghosttown
    Don’t slow down in East CLE or you’ll die
    Our economy was based off LeBron James
    Buy a house for the price of a VCR
    Our main export is crippling depression
    We so retarded the Free Stamp is nice art
    It could be worse, but atleast we’re not Detroit
    We’re aren’t Detroit!!!

  29. So, casualcommenter, better to have a Pro Bowl QB than a Pro Bowl center? Of course, but it is better to have a Pro Bowl QB than a Pro Bowl any position. There are only so many Mannings, Bradys and Brees (and Luck in the future). Seattle and SF show the model of finding a quality QB and surrounding them with great role players. Realistically, that is the Cleveland model especially with this years QB options in the draft.

  30. Matching a deal that gives $22 mill guaranteed to a player that doesn’t want anything to do with your franchise? Sounds like something a Cleveland sports team would do.

  31. Although he probably wants to leave, i’d prefer to lock him up for 3 years rather than only one… Then, he’ll have to suck it up and just play.

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