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.