Alex Mack has become a hot topic in the NFL world lately because of his situation. On one side, he has shown that he does not want to stay in Cleveland, and on the other side is a team that isn’t ready to let him go. Jimmy Haslam has already said he will match any offer given to Mack from other teams because of the transition tag. Although Mack’s agent is trying hard, everyone expects him back in Cleveland for at least 2014.
Alex Mack was drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft and since then, has become one of the top centers in the league. He has started every game since being drafted, and has played through injuries including an appendicitis in 2011. Mack was named to his first Pro-Bowl this past season after going as a replacement in 2013. Alex Mack has become one of the most stable pieces on the offensive side of the ball, except maybe fellow lineman Joe Thomas. With a new offensive scheme, and the possibility of a new quarterback, the most important part of the transition would be the center. When contract talks weren’t reached, the Browns put a transition tag on him that made him the highest paid center in the NFL.
The reason that Mack has wanted to leave isn’t about the money, but the lack of consistency. Mike Pettine will be Mack’s fourth head coach, and he has snapped to 9 different quarterbacks over his 5 seasons in the NFL. He has seen front offices changed just about every two years, and it seems he wants somewhere with more consistency. The only thing that has been constant was his offensive line coach, George Warhop, but he was released this offseason as well. With the changes going on around him, Mack can only wonder how long until he is affected.
Last Friday, Mack met with the Jacksonville Jaguars about going to play down in Florida. The problem for Mack is that the Browns have the most cap space and are willing to spend it on him. Mack’s agent has been trying to figure out a way to get a deal that will keep Cleveland from matching the offer. Sources have noted that the Browns are willing to pay up to $22 million dollars in guaranteed money.
The only way out for Mack is a deal that will guaranteed big money and an option to get out of his contract in one to two years. This will scare Cleveland away because they know if Mack is still unhappy after next season or the 2015 season, he will opt out and will still have to pay him a large sum. Until that is made, Mack has to figure that he will be playing in Cleveland for at least one to two more seasons. But will Mack play hard for a team that he doesn’t want to play for? Will he, ”Play like a Brown”? That is the question.