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Browns facing tough decision after Alex Mack signs reported offer sheet from Jaguars

Apr 09, 2014 -- 5:09pm

By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/AP

Alex Mack reportedly will sign an offer sheet from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Browns now have to decide whether to match a five-year mega-offer for a center who doesn’t want to play for them.

News of the offer was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who also reported that Mack doesn’t want to play for the Browns.

Details of the offer sheet are not completely known. The Browns will have five business days to match it after Mack signs it.

Schefter speculated the Jags may include language in the deal that gives Mack the chance to opt out after the 2014 season. And it’s possible they would construct the financials in the deal to pay Mack much more than the $10.039 million for 2014 that was guaranteed in the Browns’ transition tag.

The Browns created this major decision by giving Mack the transition tag rather than the franchise tag.

The transition tag guarantees Mack $10.039 million, the average of the top 10 salary cap figures of NFL offensive linemen, and enables Mack to negotiate with other teams. The Browns have the right to match any offer but would receive no compensation if Mack left.

The franchise tag would have guaranteed Mack $11.6 million, the average of the top 5 cap figures of linemen, and would have reserved compensation to the Browns of two first-round draft choices if Mack left.

The Browns opted for the transition tag because they couldn’t arrive at a long-term agreement and felt Mack would get a feel for his market by seeking other offers.

The Browns got a good feel for Mack’s intentions when they applied a full-court press upon his return from an offseason trip to Brazil last month. Owner Jimmy Haslam, GM Ray Farmer, and the new coaching staff all met Mack at his offseason home in southern California. Haslam later indicated the team hoped to leave with an agreement – but Mack didn't bite.

On Monday night, Haslam reiterated that he hoped to keep Mack a member of the Browns for a long time.

Before news of the Jacksonville offer sheet broke on Tuesday, Pettine expressed concern about how the Mack dispute would end.

“The situation is very fluid. I’m not that comfortable talking about it because it is an ongoing contractual thing,” Pettine said. “It’s something that’s very fluid and it changes day to day.”

 

Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com.

He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Use the hashtag #HeyTony on Twitter or email your “Hey Tony” questions to tgrossi@goodkarmabrands.com

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi

 

 

 

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