Center Alex Mack is officially staying with the Browns.
Reports surfaced on Friday afternoon that the Browns would match Jacksonville’s five-year, $42 million offer for Mack and the Browns confirmed them a short time later.
“I’m excited for both Alex and the Browns,” General Manager Ray Farmer said in a statement from the team. “We have talked about keeping our own players and this is a positive for us. Alex is a quality person and player that truly brings to life what playing like a Brown means. The ending is positive for everyone. Keeping our young, good nucleus of players is vital for clubs and specifically the Browns and therefore this is a good step. I’m excited for Alex and our football team as we continue to prepare for the 2014 season.”
Mack has $18 million in guaranteed money coming his way over the next two years and can get another $8 million guaranteed if he does not void the deal after the 2015 season. Because of clauses put in the contract by Jacksonville, the Browns cannot tag him or trade him at any point during the contract. The deal makes Mack the highest-paid center in the NFL and leaves the Browns free to address other needs in the draft and the remainder of the offseason.