I confirmed with two separate sources that the #Jaguars have met/are meeting with free agent center Alex Mack.
— Alfie (@AlfieBCC) April 5, 2014
After weeks of nothing, Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack news has come about. The Browns pivot, currently under the transition tag, visited and met with the Jacksonville Jaguars. For the Browns, it would actually be a huge favor for a team to sign Mack to a long term deal, because they have been pretty adamant they will meet any offer. Rather than only having him for one more year at a little over $10 million, the Browns would match and have control of him for a long term deal.
Most of the teams believed to be interested in Mack, have basically decided not to do the Browns legwork for them and gone in different directions. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who hired Mack’s former offensive line coach, George Warhop, signed Evan Dietrich-Smith. The Baltimore Ravens made a trade to secure Jeremy Zuttah. Both teams that had taken a look at Mack appear to have taken themselves out of the bidding.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts are teams that could still be in on Mack. The problem is the Browns have plenty of cap room and resolve to sign Mack. So, while there will be fans worried that this means Mack is leaving. In reality, short of some ridiculous deal that severely overpays Mack, it is the best news they can hope for as it likely means Mack stays.
The one caveat to all of this is if a team were to trade for Mack’s rights. They would not come cheap, but it is an option a team that really wants Mack could opt to choose. That really seems to be the only way Mack is not a Brown at least for the next year. He could hold out and sit out, but he would be turning down $10 million to do it and possibly damage his reputation with other teams in the process. This meeting with the Jaguars could potentially lead to a resolution to a process that could drag into July.