Browns announce they’re matching Jags offer for Alex Mack

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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.

99 responses to “Browns announce they’re matching Jags offer for Alex Mack

  1. This was a no brainer even if he bolts in two years it will buy Farmer time to draft and develop a new center.Mack obviously does not want to be here but with 10 draft picks and a possible rookie q.b starting if Hoyer is not ready the Browns will at least have some stability on the o-line.Go Browns!!!

  2. Good move.

    Those who think the Browns should not have matched the offer are way off…

    When you select a player in the first round, the goal is to grow them into a probowl player and/or one of the best at their position.

    If/when that happens, if your not willing to pay the player to retain him, you should not have drafted them at all.

    This deal is not outrageous, as the Browns were on the hook for over 10mil this year with the transition tag, with no guarantees for next year.

    All this talk to this point of Mack not wanting to be a Brown was nothing but agent speak to negotiate a better deal.

    In the end, good move by the Browns, and the final piece to a impressive off season for a first time GM.

    Now, for the final exam… lets see how they draft.

  3. How bad of a franchise are the Browns if one of their best players wants to leave for Jacksonville of all places?

    Mack clearly doesnt want to play for the Browns and yet the front office keeps him there against his will.

  4. So basically Mack is getting $26 million for the next two years and then voiding the contract.

  5. Thanks for all your hard work, Jacksonville.


    Hard work? Dude it was a visit and and then an offer …

    If you want to talk about hard work then I suggest you look at the following items as places to start:
    a) making sure your owner can avoid felony charges in the future and time in the slammer.
    b) making sure Joe Haden can cover Cecil Shorts III in the 4th quarter.

  6. The Ravens take the Jags’ best players. The Browns let the Jags just stiff ’em with a massive contract…for a center…lol.

    Modell’s fault right guys?

  7. It would have cost the Browns 22 million to tag him for the next two years The Jags saved the Browns 4 million.

  8. If the negotiating game plan was to let someone else drive a deal to a record level to ensure you are spending the maximum amount possible, congratulations? You keep a great player and still come off looking like fools.

  9. s0merand0mguy :

    Of course he does not want to be here or he would have signed his transition tag which actually would have paid him more $$$. Now the Browns save money and buy time to develop his replacement and can use the extra cash to resign Joe Haden who is far more important to this team than a center who cannot run block.I have seen way too many 4th and inches not converted running behind Mack since Mangini drafted him so glad he will want out in 2 years.Hopefully we will trade him before then.

  10. s0merand0mguy says:
    Apr 11, 2014 4:56 PM

    Except that Alex did not want to be a part of the Browns and now you are forcing him to stay.. I am sure that will work out well for you………….

    He’d rather go to Jacksonville?

    I mean I guess you get to travel to England for free every year but…. Jacksonville?

    If Browns get a good QB, they might actually win that division… Their defense has become very good and they have the best young receiver in the NFL right now, not to mention a really good up and comer RB.

  11. 42 mil for a center ? its no wonder the browns and jags are bottom of the barrel teams. i have an idea… how about drafting a center with a late pick??? you’ll pay under 1 mil per season. if either of these two teams hired me as GM, i’d make them playoff teams within 2 years. its not hard people. just takes a competent GM who draft and spend money wisely.

  12. Bengals said they were going to match the browns offer sheet for Andrew Hawkins…… never happened. This will probably happen, but thats just something to keep in mind….

  13. but in 2 years its set up so he can get out of there and they can’t do anything to stop him. 9 mil a year is a lot, but there are some pretty famous coaches who have said they believe other than the QB, that the center is the second most important player on your offense. yes, even more than a LT.

  14. LOL, that’s the best the Jags could do for poison pill? So now he plays for a team he doesn’t want to play for and he can’t ask for a trade lol

  15. well Jacksonville saved us a bunch of money… We tagged him already for this year at 10mil , and next year we would have franchised him which would have bumped him even higher, you saved us 4 mil over 2 years. We are greatful. In fact, the idea of him going to Jacksonville really shows it was all about the contract terms and Alex never did say he wanted to leave Cleveland… he just said its business. Good job Ray Farmer!!!

  16. It’s essentially a 2 year deal because the contract can be voided after the two years are up. Each year is less than the franchise tag or the restricted tag. Browns didn’t have much choice. You can’t let a guy leave because he says he wants to. Banner & Lombardi screwed this up by not working on a long term deal sooner. Browns still have plenty of money under the cap. Their $33 million cap number was already net of the $10 million transition tag. In fact, their cap number actually goes up by a million or two under this deal.

  17. The Browns just gave a fortune to a guy that made it very clear he doesn’t want to play for them anymore.

    What could go wrong?

  18. I think that anyone who disputes paying good money for a top center doesn’t really understand the sport, and is commenting based on what other uninformed individuals have said they should believe.
    As I have stated before, ask the Steelers how much they valued Ray Mansfield, Mike Webster, Dermonnti Dawson, Jeff Hartings, and Maurkise Pouncey over the years?
    This was a wise move on the Browns part, and their fans should be both excited and confident about the front office and coaching staff they have in place…

  19. a disgruntled worker is not a good worker…42 mil is wayyyy too much…lol @ the comment about 6-10..browns digressed with this move..

  20. As a Steeler Fan, I have to say, I am glad the Browns were able to keep one of their good players.
    I would love to get the rivalry back to it’s glory years, and this is only a positive.
    And, to be honest, when did Mack ever say he wanted out??? In my opinion, this was a situation where the Browns did Mack a favor by allowing him to get the best deal he could, without restricting him by attaching draft-picks to his signing.
    Truly a WIN-WIN for the Browns and for Mack

  21. You know if Mack really wanted out of Cleveland he would of signed the 1 year tender instead of reaching out and signing a deal that he knew the Browns would most likely match.

  22. @s0merand0mguy

    If Mack didn’t want to stay he never would’ve signed a sheet that could potentially keep him in CLE for 5 more years. Mack wanted to get paid. Which he did. And the Browns get the best C in the NFL for at Keats the next 2 yrs at a reasonable price. Cheaper than the franchise or transition tag. Farmer played this smart.


  23. Unfortunately for the browns, they still have to face the Ravens, Steelers & Bungles 6 games per year. They don’t play in a powder puff division like AFC East.

  24. Greg Robertson at No.4, move him to RT, move Schwartz to RG. Done. The best OLine in the nfl.

    They weren’t going for a QB at No. 4 anyway, and the draft’s deep in WRs and DBs. We’ll get who we need. Turn those 10 picks into 6, get the right people, you’re contending for the division.

  25. Ray Farmer is brilliant. They’re paying Mack less now than if they had tagged him this year and next. Welcome back Alex!!

  26. bluntforce13 says:
    Apr 11, 2014 5:00 PM
    This was a no brainer even if he bolts in two years it will buy Farmer time to draft and develop a new center.Mack obviously does not want to be here but with 10 draft picks and a possible rookie q.b starting if Hoyer is not ready the Browns will at least have some stability on the o-line.Go Browns!!!

    Good teams don’t spend $42 million to “buy time”.

  27. No trade clause, no transition tag, no control over the life of the contract…….Looks to me like the Browns still have the same front office no matter who actually is in the position.

  28. Browns lost 7 games last year with a 4th QTR lead, thanks to Ray Hortons poor play calling.

    All the Browns haters will change their tune when they finish 4-2 in the North this year!

  29. I’m one bitter mofo. But, I’m lifting that cup of “Oh Yeah” this season. From the owner on down, batteries and shoulders.

    Go Browns.

  30. Is Khan a buddy of Haslam’s? The Jags got Mack to resign with the Browns for less money, and an extra year! I don’t get what the Jags got out of all of this other than stirring up some interest and maybe sell a few more tickets….before the moving vans pull out, headed to L.A.

  31. I love Raven fan hating in the Browns. B mores just pissed at Ctown cause we had the balls to not only keep our name and colors but to also get a new team. And they get to watch our purple Browns. Haters hate

  32. Wait…..hold on. Mack IS a center, right? For FOOTBALL, right? Looking at that contract made me think of the second coming of Shaq!!! 42 million for a center? In football????? JAX really made Cleveland pay up!! Now I see why the Browns stay the Browns!

  33. Everyone who has said mack doesn’t want to be here is an idiot! What he did was get the most guaranteed money he could. It was smart by him and his agent and the Browns. Mack never said he wanted out..he simply wanted to find out hos value. He signed the tender by jax knowing the Browns could and would match. If he really wanted out he would have signed the Browns 1 year deal and hit FA next year.

  34. Browns should definitely match – will lessen the blow from signing baby hawk and will not make them better overall.

  35. good insurance move by Mack. if he would have been hurt during the 1 year transition tag he wouldn’t see the next large tag or contract. with only 1 tag he would make 10 mil. with both tags he would have made 22 mil. he forced the brown’s hand into at least a 26 mil contract because if he is hurt anytime in the next 2 years he will not void the 3rd year.

  36. Can another team still make another offer for Mack, which the Browns would then be able to match?

  37. The man wanted to get paid and he got paid. Jacksonville succeeded where Joe Banner failed and signed him to long term deal and Farmer swooped in as planned. Love the move and love Farmer.

  38. Since 2008, the number of people who call themselves middle class has fallen by nearly a fifth, according to a survey in January by the Pew Research Center, from 53 percent to 44 percent. Forty percent now identify as either lower-middle or lower class compared with just 25 percent in February 2008.

  39. Sure sign that you are a dumb fan: constantly complaining about play-calling and halftime adjustments.

  40. So let see, that’s $9 million for 2 years and an average of 8 million the last 3 years.

    Now Carolina’s Ryan Kalil is currently set to be the highest-paid center this year at $7.28 .

    So really it is not that much out of line, especially with the unused cap room the Browns have.

    If he leaves after the 2015 season he will be 31, they could have a low round pick over the next couple of years groomed and have the $8 million a year available for free agency 2015/2016 .

  41. Wow… Jax fans are criticizing the Browns for matching…..sorry guys, he was NEVER your player…..but thanks for doing the legwork for the Browns. Alex Mack used you to get exactly what he wanted……..

  42. What a bunch of stooges on here. Of course he wanted the browns. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have signed with jax. He’s locked in for 2 years. Had he signed the transition, he gets out of cleveland in a year, no strings attached. Do ur homework peanut gallery. Hd did the browns a favor.

  43. People making fun of the Browns do realize for spending $42 Million for a center do realize that it’s for more than one year right? They were going to have to pay him more money, if he didn’t sign this offer, under the tag. … So Browns Bashers are gonna bash no matter what they do. Keep laughing, your team is gonna suck too one day. Although to be honest not as many years as the Browns v2.0 has since 1999. But still, your team is gonna suck for 3 years someday.

  44. I’m sure Joe Thomas is on the phone right now with his agent telling him he wants out of Cleveland to get 12 mil.

    And to the poster, Mack could have been tagged next year. The price would have been higher.

  45. For those slamming the Jags, you have to remember that they had nothing to lose. It was a gamble to see if the Browns would match the offer. If they didn’t the Jags have tons of cap space, need a Center, and just got a Pro Bowler. If the Browns DO match, the Jags have their fan base stoked knowing that unlike previous years they are going for great talent and they are out a plane ticket and some dinners.

  46. If I would have known I could make 42 million being a center I would have spent more time with a guys hands behind me and less time studying. Regardless of how bad that sounds

  47. Mark 2014 in your Almanac as the year a rain falls on the AFC North. A cold, driving, Brown rain that stains the souls of those who hate on the Cleve. They will be forever marked. Remember this day, the day where Alex Mack’s transition tag offer was was matched by the Browns. Remember this day and weep…..4.11.14

  48. This was going to happen all along, the agent, and Mack knew he would be back in Cleveland, they were just milking them for the best deal they could get. Don’t be fooled all you sharts talking smack, the browns have a plan, and from the looks of it they will be dominating your favorite teams sooner than later. Watch as the dynasty unfolds before your eyes starting in 2014. I will be as bold to predict they win the AFC North this year. Looky Looky GO Browns!!!

  49. What everyone seems to be missing is. This is just insurance for Mack. Everyone hates to be tagged because it’s a one year deal. He gets hurt. Sorry. Career ending injury. That sucks.
    Now he gets 18 million no matter what. Could he have gotten 10 million this year, yes, and 12 million next, maybe. But right, today, now he has 18. And the ability to get a new contract in two years.
    Plus I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jags aren’t getting something out of these. Maybe Alex’s agent now owes the Jags a favor. Or maybe he was just calling one in

  50. Mack already stated he wanted to be a Brown. he agent speak was nothing more than him driving home the going rate for the best center in the league. In the end, Jacksonville wined and dined Mack who after the meeting with the Browns was told to go get a fair market value contract and that they would match. Jacksonville in essence wasted a bunch of time and resources in forming a contract for a player that would never play for them.

  51. Do I think Mack is worth the money? yes Good teams have good Oline.Problem is Mack doesn’t want to be a Brown you don’t spend 42 million Dollars on player who doesn’t want to play for you.

    Factory of Sadness continues.

  52. Anyone who claims the Browns dont have a good QB didnt watch Hoyer play last season . The guy is solid.

  53. Now JAX has to find a guy to snap the ball. And they will find a much cheaper one. Browns did them a favor.

  54. Do any of you pay attention to the NFL? An average of $8.4 Million over 5 years, is pretty much on par with Khalil’s $8.1 Million per year in Carolina. It’s the NFL. Player salaries just keep rising.

  55. On offense if your second best player isn’t your center, you are in trouble. They slide protection based on the QB’s calls and also have to worry about the snap as well.

  56. He never said he wanted to leave,he tested free agency,which is his right,Cleveland didn’t want to franchise him this year because next year would have cost them more. They got to gauge what the market was for him and had the cap space to do so. Everyone knows that NFL contracts are only worth the guaranteed money anyways. If he maintains his Pro Bowl play,he can void his contract or restructure it to get more cash. They actually did him a favor. Everyone knows that the franchise tag causes disconnects between players and FOs,so they basically agreed to his terms without negotiating. If they had said no,everyone would be praising Jacksonville for grabbing a Pro Bowl center for a mere 18 mil guaranteed.

  57. It is confusing that everyone thinks Ben Tate is some kind of an answer. He has missed 24 of 64 NFL games due to injuries, which means he plays an average of 10 games per year out of 16. He also has only 10 career TDs in 4 years. He also has 10 fumbles in those 4 years. Folks need to educate themselves on what they are getting.

  58. All of you experts keep saying ‘just a center’. You have no clue what a Pro Bowl center actually does for an offense. Do some reading.

  59. Attention: Fantasy Football is not actual football. Great move by the Browns front office, letting Jacksonville negotiate a contract for you and retaining a pro bowl center for at least two years.

  60. Apparently ignorance of the O-line’s importance doesn’t stop a lot of commenters from opening their pie holes.

    Pro Football Focus listed Mack as the No. 1 FA center and the Browns line as 12th best. Going forward a lot rests on keeping line cohesion and synchronicity. Center calls the blocking scheme.

    Back when Belichick was the Village Idiot, he switched centers a couple days before Game One – disaster. Defensive genius, offensively clueless, just like some of these comments.

  61. And YES, he WANTS to play in CLEVELAND. Nobody cares if you don’t. You couldn’t play flag football on a girl’s team.

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