A player the Ravens have been linked to since the start of free agency, center Alex Mack, resigns with the Browns after Jacksonville fails to sign an offer sheet the Browns couldn't match. It was a reported 5 year - $42million, which would make him the highest paid center in the NFL. The kicker was that the first 2 years are guaranteed for $18million.
The Jacksonville Jaguars stepped up to the plate Friday night to sign Browns Alex Mack to an offer sheet. Saturday morning, the Cleveland Browns matched the offer sheet, keeping him in Cleveland. The Browns signed Mack to the little used 'transition tag', allowing other teams to sign Mack to an offer sheet. Cleveland would then have the ability to match the offer sheet or would see Mack be signed away with no compensation given to them like with the 'franchise tag'. Mack was slated to make a little more than $10million this year under the transition tag making it a high risk/high reward move..
The appeal of the transition tag for the Browns in this situation is that they were hoping that another team would offer him a contract that they could then match, forcing Mack to stay in Cleveland for a period of time. Mack had been desperately trying to find his way out of Cleveland to the point of his agent publicly stating that he could craft an offer sheet that he felt the Browns wouldn't match.