The Jacksonville Jaguars will sign Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl center Alex Mack to a 5-year offer sheet by Friday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The Browns will have five days to match Jacksonville’s offer to Mack, who they designated a transition tag to. The Browns took a roll of the dice on this by opting not to give Mack the long-term deal he wanted, they also decided not to give him a franchise tag. If they don’t match the offer, they’ll receive no compensation for Mack.
To recap: Alex Mack highly impressed with Jacksonville, wants to play there, will sign 5-year offer sheet by end of week, per ESPN sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 9, 2014
Schefter also points out that the proposed deal from the Jaguars to Mack is designed to make it as difficult as possible for the Browns to match. According to sources close to Mack, this is a deal he wants to sign off on. The 5-year deal would reportedly make Brown the league’s highest-paid center, Ryan Kalil‘s contract with the Carolina Panthers averages $8.2 million per year.
Mack has become a cornerstone for the Browns, he’s played every snap for the Browns since being drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
The Browns find themselves in a very tough situation with Mack, they risk losing him for no compensation or they match the offer and risk compromising their financial flexibility to sign other key players. It’s important to keep in mind also that Mack couldn’t have been too thrilled with the Browns designating him with a transition tag to begin with.
The Jaguars appear ready to pounce on a potential strategic mistake by the Browns.
Follow OPSN End Zone Score’s Anthony Rushing on Twitter for more NFL Updates @AnthonyRushing_